Phillip Hoose presents the story of B95 (Moonbird), the most successful survivor of the Red Knot shorebird species. Though the Red Knot faces extinction due to man’s interference along its migration route, B95 has managed to complete this journey (the distance of a hemisphere) for over twenty years. Through this bird’s remarkable existence, Hoose explains what the typical life of a Red Knot looks like, its migration route, its breeding patterns, and, above all, the importance of continued efforts to protect the species. Hoose uses a near-narrative style for this book, with call-out sections highlighting important facts and people in the Red Knot conservation group. His mix of facts and personal narrative make Moonbird accessible to readers of all levels.
I’m really not a fan of science non-fiction, so I’m surprised at how much I started to care about this bird and his species. I had no idea Red Knots fly so far just to breed, and the fact that B95 has flown the path for so long is just incredible! Hoose’s use of first person narrating also got me into the story, and there is a lot of suspense surround whether B95 will be spotted again. I also enjoyed how the author highlighted student groups advocating for the preservation of Red Knots. I definitely won’t be looking at shorebirds the same after this book, and I wish more was being done to help this species!