Imagine having a father who is known as a hermit, accused of being a poacher, and thought to be strange and simpleminded. According to this fictionalized story, French entomologist Jean Henri Fabre, a contemporary and correspondent of Darwin and a friend of John Stuart Mill, may have been such a man. Using the voice of Fabre's 10-year-old son Paul, who, according to Fabre's own writings, often helped his father, Anderson tells of Fabre's passion for learning about cicadas, scorpions, and the other "children of summer." The man's curious behavior will draw readers in, and the descriptions of the oddities of the insect world will keep them interested: children are bound to remember Fabre's shooting a cannon to test cicadas' hearing and the family's eating a meal of cossus grubs. Although this is fiction, not science how-to, the book may, perhaps, inspire some unusual science projects about insect behavior. Karen MorganHis Life of the Spider can be listened to for free here.
Several of his books can be read online for free here.