When Heather L. Montgomery sees a rattlesnake flattened on the side of the road, her first instinct is to pick it up and dissect it—she’s always wanted to see how a snake’s fangs retract when they close their mouths, and it’s not exactly safe to poke around in a live reptile’s mouth. A wildlife researcher with a special penchant for the animals that litter the roadways, Heather isn’t satisfied with dissecting just one snake. Her fascination with roadkill sets her off on a journey from her own backyard and the roadways of the American South to scientists and kids in labs and homes across the globe. From biologists who use the corpses of Tasmanian devils to investigate cures for a contagious cancer, to a scientist who discovered a whole new species of bird from a single wing left behind, to a boy rebuilding animal bodies from the bones up, to a restaurant that serves up animal remnants, Heather discovers that death is just the beginning for these creatures. This engaging narrative nonfiction is an eye-opening and irreverent look at the dead and dying animals that we pass by without a second thought—as well as a fascinating insight to the scientific research process.
Heather L. Montgomery writes books for kids who are wild about animals. Her subject matter ranges from snakes to snail tongues — the weirder, the wackier the better. With a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in environmental education, Heather’s specialty is using yuck-appeal to engage young minds. When she’s not writing or working with kids, you can’t find her knee-deep in a creek, canoeing a canyon, or up in a tree.
A long time ago in a city far, far away (known as Baltimore), a space dinosaur was born. Kevin O’Malley and Patrick O’Brien dreamed up Captain Raptor and started creating books about his daring deeds. They received more fan mail for Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery and Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates (Walker Children’s) than for any of their many, many other books. Ten years later they’re back at it, concocting impossible situations for Captain Raptor in the long-awaited third installment of the series.
What is your favorite thing about this book?
My favorite thing about this book is that it is all about curiosity! This book showed me that my life is a compost of questions! (Heather L. Montgomery)
What part of creating this book did you most enjoy?
I enjoyed every step of this journey, but my favorite moment has to be when a hawk - who had been hit by a car and rehabilitated back to life - lifted her wings and flew from my hand, headed back to where she belonged. (Heather L. Montgomery)
Where did you originally get the idea for this book?
This book came from one road-killed rattler. A snake I spent the day with. A snake who changed my life. (Heather L. Montgomery)