Phillip Hoose is a mighty fine writer. I have almost zero interest in birds and their migratory patterns (in fact, I got bored just typing "migratory patterns"), but his excellent storytelling pulled me into this book!
The annual journey all rufa red knots take is really astounding. Most fly from Tierra del Fuego (the very bottom of South America) all the way to the Canadian Arctic. This book focuses on one particular red knot named B95, also called the Moonbird. At approximately 20 year old, B95 is the oldest red knot known to scientists and has flown the equivalent of the distance to the moon and back. Crazy!
The other characters in this book are the humans involved in the red knot story. Mostly they're scientists and bird enthusiasts who are trying to save the red knot from extinction, but Hoose also profiles a Delaware fisherman whose job is made more difficult by conservationists' efforts.
Lots of maps and photographs help make this a really appealing non-fiction pick for readers, especially those in 5th through 8th grade. There's even a section in the back about how kids can get involved in the effort to help rebuild the struggling red knot population.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5