Spit: What’s Cool About Drool

Firefly. Oct. 2019. 64p. glossary. index. photos. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780228102267; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9780228102328.
Gr 5-8–Batten explores the fascinating, and sometimes gross, world of spit. Well researched and intriguing, the book delves into the scientists who studied saliva, examines current research about what spit can tell us about our ancestors and how it can help diagnose illnesses, and relays impressive tales of how other animals use their spit to communicate, defend themselves, or spread disease. The combination of full-color photographs, humorous cartoons, short chapters, and a disgustingly fun topic will especially appeal to reluctant readers. Students conducting research will also find this a useful read. While the book contains an index and glossary, suggestions for further reading would have been a helpful addition to a captivating work.
VERDICT Although the writing is intended for an older audience, the topic is likely to attract younger readers. Ambitious elementary students would find this book just as accessible and enjoyable as older students. This would be a great addition for a middle or high school collection.

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