Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cat (Scientists in the Field Series) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-07-12 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 13 user ratings

"Another stellar entry in the Scientists in the Field series. As usual, it had me peppering my husband with "Did you know?" statements throughout. Whether or not it's actually shorter than previous titles in the series, it feels succinct and makes for a quick read. The balance between the main narrative, following the work of a particular ground-breaking cheetah conservancy in Namibia, and sidebars full of additional information about cheetahs and the various scientific processes at work is well-executed and makes for a fluid read. Cheetahs are really fascinating animals, and the incredible work that the conservancy is doing - educating farmers, raising and selling guard dogs, rehabbing cheetahs, and more - demonstrates the holistic perspective that really makes a difference in these kinsd of conservation efforts. A favorite of the year so far, and an easy sell to any young fan of big cats. -Chelsea" said.

"Nonfiction/ Twin Text Entry #2

This narrative nonfiction book is titled Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cats by Sy Montgomery. This is a great book with vivid photographs and nine chapters about Laurie and how she is working to save cheetahs. Any upper elementary student will love reading about the fastest mammal and especially the chapter about how dogs are trained to defend and protect the cheetahs.

For the fiction twin text, I found a book titled I Wish I Were a Speedy Cheetah by Christina Jordan. This book is about a young African girl who imagines what life would be like if she were a speedy cheetah.

Both of these books are set in Africa and share the common theme of one of Africa's most beautiful animals, the cheetah. The fiction book contains facts about cheetahs that will help reinforce the information presented in the nonfiction book. Between the two books, intermediate elementary students will love learning and discovering more about cheetahs and learn a little about life in Africa.
" said.

""Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cats," is all about the fastest predatory animal on earth: the cheetah. In the book, we also find out the cheetah is the most endangered cat on earth too. I enjoyed reading the fast facts on the fastest cats on page 15 in the book. Who knew that a cheetah could run 70/mph?? Crazy! Then, a cheetah can get to 40/mph in just three strides, with each stride being twenty-five feet. I found it very interesting that DNA of a cheetah was observed and tested through their poop. I was happy that none of the illustrations/photographs actually showed poop. This book is extremely informational when it comes to cheetahs and where they can be found on Earth. I will definitely recommend this book to my readers interested in cheetahs, however; being in early childhood education, this book has too many words and my kids would enjoy looking at the illustrations more than reading the book themselves.

I rated the book 4/5 because I did learn a lot during my read and enjoyed learning about cheetahs.
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"4.3 stars

Got this title from a list of notable nonfiction for children for 2014.

In 1900, there were over 100,000 cheetahs worldwide. Now, there are about 10,000. There used to be cheetahs in India. There are cheetahs in Iran!

The book is about the efforts of Laurie Marker who developed a program to help endangered cheetahs in Namibia. The program has been successful and is currently being expended to other African countries. Farmers in Namibia consider cheetahs to be pests and kill, on average, 19 cheetahs every year. Instead of berating farmers, Laurie has worked with them and listened to them and asked them about problems on their farms, about how much livestock they have, about the challenges on their farms, etc. And then she tried to solve the problems of the farmers. She developed a program to acquire and train dogs that guard livestock. When farmers received these dogs, they mostly stopped killing cheetahs.

This is incredibly interesting. But it's a little long for many elementary students to read cover-to-cover.
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"I am a huge fan of the Scientists in the Field series by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They are not only fascinating but well designed with gorgeous photographs. Chasing Cheetahs did not disappoint, it's as high in quality as its predecessors. With the growing emphasis on STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math) in the education field, these books are a great help in that endeavor. This book takes a look at the work of the Cheetah Conservation Fund's work in Namibia, Africa in saving cheetahs. The work done by Laurie Marker and her associates has clearly made a difference, but like all conservation stories there is still much to be done as Montgomery clearly shows. I found it absolutely intriguing to read about the things the CCF is doing to help the species. The strategies they are using are clearly explained and demonstrated in the book which shows the power of science in action. I for one found the stories about different cheetahs and the way the scientists study them and share what they've learned with local farmers and school children as well as with colleagues worldwide makes for a great story. This book is very readable with lots of gorgeous photographs to highlight the text. A wonderful addition to a great series. " said.

"This book is PHENOMENAL. Absolutely amazing youth nonfiction. Definitely meant for an older set--probably 4th grade (?) and up--but wow, what a great read. There's so much information about cheetahs and it's portrayed in such an interesting way. The book is narrative nonfiction, chronicling the writers' experience at a cheetah conservancy in Namibia. The reader learns about nearly every aspect of what goes on in the conservancy, from rescuing orphaned cubs, tracking wild cheetahs and other game, and introducing some cheetahs back into the wild. The pictures are great--kids will marvel at seeing cheetahs walking alongside their human handlers, almost completely tame. There's also a section on the dogs in the conservancy. Dogs are proving to be a major factor in saving the cheetah population, as they guard the livestock that cheetahs sometimes prey on when no game is available. Cheetahs aren't actually all that big, so if farmers have big enough dogs, they won't come anywhere near the livestock. It's all pretty amazing, how much work and dedication has been put in to figuring all of this out.

I am now very interested in reading the rest of the books in this series--I see from other reviews that they're also really well-done.
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"I believe this book has some crossover content with a social studies lesson. It explains the different jobs Laurie and her crew do to rescue cheetahs and stabilize the population. It also tells of the the local farmers and their struggle with the cheetahs who hunt their livestock. Laurie explains how her organization works with the local farmers to find a solution that saves the cheetahs population and the buisinesses of the farmers.

Bloom's Taxonomy Questions:

1. Knowledge
What is the number one killer of the endangered African cheetahs?

2. Comprehension
Describe what was happening before Laurie began her cheetah program?

3. Application
What would result if all of the cheetahs that Laurie took in were tamed like the ambassadors?

4. Analyze
What is the relationship between Laurie’s organization and the local farmers of Namibia?

5. Evaluate
What is your opinion on how Laurie’s organization worked with the farmers by getting them low cost watch dogs and why do you feel that way?

6. Creating
What do you predict will happen in the future? Will Laurie’s organization be able to build the cheetah population to a stable level? Will her affordable watch dog program help to keep the cheetahs from being shot by farmers?

" said.

"For my Intermediate book I choose "Chasing Cheetahs the race to save Africa's Fastest Cats". The content would be Science, Social Studies and English. By using the representing levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, I will start at the bottom and work my way up with questions for students.
REMEMBERING; Who can tell me where the story takes Place?
UNDERSTANDING; Explain why the story has the title that it does?
APPLYING; What questions would you ask if you were to visit the conservatory?
ANALYZING; What motive is there to creating conservatories for animals?
EVALUATING; Justify Laurie's actions in the story? Do you agree with them?
CREATING; After reading this book, what do you predict will happen to Cheetahs in the future?

This book was inspiring, informational, and fun to read. Like myself, I think kids would love to know that Cheetahs are different than the other "Cats" out there, how they do not growl, how hard it really is for them to choose, mate and live with a partner. Knowing that Cheetahs are not predator's to the farmers and the other inhabitants of Africa are simply amazing and that a dog can for the most part solve unnecessary deaths for these animals. It is so amazing how something simple as knowing the correct information can change communities and make it a better place for humans and animals alike.
" said.

July 2018 New Book:

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