Monday, October 27, 2008

Genre 4- Quest for the Tree Kangaroo

(1) Bibliography
Montgomery, Sy. 2006. QUEST FOR THE TREE KANGAROO: AN EXPEDITION TO THE CLOUD FOREST OF NEW GUINEA. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-618-49641-6


(2) Plot Summary
This narrative follows the mission of a research team to locate the elusive Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo. The animal is an endangered species, having been hunted and eaten by the natives for hundreds of years. The team will trek on a three day hike through rugged terrain facing many hazards along the way to get to the Tree Kangaroo’s habitat. The plan is to capture and outfit a few of these creatures with a radio collar. By tracking these marsupials, scientists will learn more about their habits and figure out how to best help them.

(3) Critical Analysis
The author is able experience the expedition because she accompanied the research team! Montgomery is able to witness scientist and experts at work. The book is nicely organized. While the narrative is intended to be read from cover-to-cover, there are a few stand alone snippet sections such as “Marsupial Mania” and “Fantastic Cloud Forest” that the reader can jump right into. Nic Bishop’s photographs are colorful and amazing. Without them the tale would not be as impressive as it is for the photographs are an intricate part of the design and presentation. Robin Wingrave beautiful watercolor maps show the reader where the adventure takes place. The Quest for the Tree Kangaroo makes a wonderful addition to any child’s home library.

(4) Review Excerpt(s)
Booklist: “…Montgomery gives an unusually strong, visceral sense of the work and cooperation fieldwork entails and the scope and uniqueness of this particular mission.”

School Library Journal: “The book's fascinating glimpses into a little-explored region will hold the attention of anyone interested in unusual creatures and the efforts to study them.”

(5) Connections
* Have the class read other books by Sy Montgomery:
Montgomery, Sy. Search for the Golden Moon Bear: Science and Adventure in Pursuit of a New Species. ISBN 1-60358-063-8
Montgomery, Sy. The Snake Scientist. ISBN 0-618-11119-0
Montgomery, Sy. The Tarantula Scientist. ISBN 0-618-14799-3

* Students can visit ARKIVE at for information, images, and video on Tree Kangaroo and other endangered species.

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