Monday, October 10, 2016

All About Middle Grade Review: Rise of the Lioness

Rise of the Lioness: Restoring a Habitat and its Pride on the Liuwa Plains by Bradley Hague, September 13, 2016. 56 pages. Published by National Geographic Children's Books. Source: Publicist for review*.
Poaching and war damaged an isolated wilderness in West Zambia, reducing its lion population to just one: Lady, the last lioness. Witness Lady's fight for survival in this evocative narrative on the decline, fall, and rebirth of the Liuwa Plains. Follow Lady as she grapples with a landscape altered by human hands and discover how both Lady and humankind restore balance to the environment.

More than a story about one brave lion, The Lioness offers a great introduction to life science by looking at the workings of an ecosystem, the methods of scientists and environmentalists, and explaining the interconnection between the plant, animal, and human systems. 

First Sentence
On first glance, the Liuwa Plains don't look like much.

When Rise of the Lioness was pitched for review to me, I admit that what caught my attention was Lady, the last lioness in West Zambia, as I wanted to know more her story and the Liuwa Plains. I am enthused to say that while informative, this book was also very appealing for its historical background and gorgeous photographs.

  • I have two very simple reasons for wanting to read Rise of the Lioness. Firstly, I knew nothing about the Liuwa Plains nor about the struggle the faced and how their ecosystem was pretty much destroyed from war and trophy hunting. Secondly, because I was intrigued to learn more not only about Lady, the last lioness, but to see the efforts that were going in to restoring what was lost and regaining balance. So, there were many reasons that this book made its way one to my review stack (and how it leaped to the top). I must say, I did quite enjoy, even if most of it made me sad, how Bradley Hague laid out the facts and history in it. It was well done and as good as I hoped it would be.
  • There were some stunning photographs throughout the entire book. But, the ones I liked best were, of course, those of the lions as well as the ones that captured the beauty of the plains. As much as I enjoyed the writing, the photographs definitely helped to illustrate what the author was trying to convey. It really brought to light not only the beauty of the place but also the tragedies and rebuilding that make up the history of the Liuwa Plains. 
  • Why do I think young readers will enjoy this National Geographic book Rise of the Lioness. well, because I think they would enjoy seeing science used for something good. Did I mention beautiful pictures! And, should you read it with them, it could be a great way to mutually learn about history, the ecosystem, and conservation....and, you know!! 

Final Verdict: Rise of the Lioness- Stunning photographs and a story that will, by the end, give you some hope. Really, a great presentation about West Zambia and rebuilding their lion pride. 

Rise of the Lioness earns

A copy of this book was received in consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

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