Friday, June 25, 2010

Non Fiction Addiction

Non-fiction for teens sure does have a bad rep. This feature will introduce non-fiction titles that are fun and informative and hopefully bring to life the wealth of relevant and amazing titles that are out there.

When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals by Jeffery Masson

Summary: Animals do in fact lead emotional lives, according to Masson. He has managed to find hundreds of anecdotes from the published works and field studies of such noted behaviourists as Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Cynthia Moss that support his theory. It seems that, despite the fact that anthropomorphism is among the worst of scientific taboos, these respected scientists cannot help but notice the similarities between human and animal behaviour. Chapters are organized by topic, such as fear, love, grief, and even compassion and beauty. An index provides access by species and by personal name of both people and animals. An excellent resource in psychology, this title will also be a useful addition for animal research. Its clear and conversational style makes it interesting for general readers as well. A well-documented, compelling, and thought-provoking defence of animal emotions

Thoughts: This is actually for adults, but I thought that there would be quite a few older teens who would be interested in this topic. I just finished reading The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti and the librarian said that sometimes teens ask for the book that Calletti quotes (which doesn’t exist) and they give them this one instead. I haven’t read it yet, but I skimmed it and the language looked very accessible and the stories pretty compelling.


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