Light and dark have affected the very ways humans, plants, and animals have grown and thrived. In fact, light and dark have affected pretty much the entire natural world around us. But lights from cars, streetlights, houses, shopping malls, skyscrapers, and other structures make towns and cities glow with light so bright it can be seen from outer space. What happens when humans tamper with the age-old balance of day and night?
Told through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Joan who loves the outdoors, Dark Matters introduces young readers to the fragile animals that are impacted by our increasingly threatened nighttime skies.
Come discover the amazing night life of frogs and bats, turtles and fireflies, birds, plants, and so much more. And learn how their lives and ecosystems are negatively impacted by light—much of which is so unnecessary.
This book is packed full with fascinating and unexpected facts and illustrations, and comes with tips and suggestions on how young people can help reduce light pollution.
Because dark matters!
Joan Marie Galat's
publications include The Discovery of Longitude, the Dot to Dot in the Sky series and Day Trips From Edmonton.
The Discovery of Longitude was the winner of the 2013 R. Ross Annett Award for Children's Literature. Joan Marie lives in Edmonton, Alberta.
"Readers will likely be fascinated and horrified by just how extensive a toll light pollution takes on nocturnal animals. The tug-at-the-heartstrings text is accompanied by full-color photographs of animals, including a moose somberly staring at the camera and a raccoon who came out on the wrong end of a fight with a car. Text boxes and sidebars provide further information. . . This is a unique subject that might compel readers to flip the light switch at night."
"Galat writes in an approachable style, allowing the reader to accompany the narrator on a journey that reveals how light pollution affects several taxa, from bugs to birds to sea turtles. Along the way, Galat provides definition for key terms (e.g., natural light, wavelength). Plus, the book is full of beautiful photos highlighting the biology of animals and the extent of light pollution. Overall, this is a great book for the classroom and a jumping off point for students researching new areas of biology and ecology."
— National Science Teachers Association
"Impressively 'kid friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, Dark Matters: Nature's Reaction to Light Pollution is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Nature & The Environment collections and supplemental studies reading lists."
— Midwest Book Review
"Dark Matters is packed full from cover to cover with fascinating and unexpected facts and illustrations. . . Impressively 'kid friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, Dark Matters: Nature's Reaction to Light Pollution is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Nature & The Environment collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
— The Environmental Shelf
"Told through the eyes of 13-year-old Joan who loves the outdoors, readers are introduced to the fragile animals that are impacted by the disappearing darkness. Joan's curiosity is contagious as she discovers the amazing night life of frogs and bats, turtles and fireflies, birds, plants, and more. Best of all, there are tips and suggestions on how young people can help reduce light pollution."
— City Parent
"A great book packed with interesting facts and fun storytelling about the amazing night life of plants and animals. Young readers will also learn how they can help reduce light pollution."
"A fusion of memoir and science, Dark Matters tackles an often overlooked form of pollution. Between chronological flashbacks, which cover her early childhood interest in astronomy to choosing a career in ecology, the author explains why species like turtles, birds, insects, and even people need darkness."
— Authors for Earth Day
"Galat blends storytelling and facts to explain the impact of light pollution, from sea turtles confused by beachfront lights, to insect populations that shrink because light impairs their ability to find food, to light-intensive commercial fishing that blinds marine life. She offers fascinating insights into sometimes complex topics like how light pollution interferes with the breakdown of chemicals that form smog.
Galat shares memories, such as when on a trip to the World Trade Center in New York she found an injured bird that smashed into a window — a symptom of light pollution's impact on migratory flight paths. . . Her memories are sweet and often poetic, blended with enough facts to make them relatable for readers young or old.
— NAIT Techlife Today
"The light, amusing diary style of presentation is especially effective for the target audience. . . Photos chosen for the book are excellent. The starry night sky is used as the backdrop/theme for most pages — very effective to tie the book together. . . Dark Matters is an essential book for everyone to read. We may feel somewhat powerless about the scope of air and water pollution, but we can definitely act to reduce light pollution in our immediate surroundings. Share this book with young people to help them get the message.
— CM Magazine
"I remember as a child being amazed at the sight of my first real night sky, undiluted by man-made light! The exhilarating beauty, complexity and infinity of the Universe, right there before my eyes. But, as Joan Marie Galat explains in this book, there is more to light pollution than its effect on star-gazing... the whole world needs dark skies!"
— David Saint-Jacques, Canadian astronaut
"A blend of fine storytelling and gripping facts, Dark Matters reveals the need for dark, along with its value to you and the world. A book to share—highly recommended."
— David L. Crawford, Ph.D. (Astronomy) and International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) cofounder and former executive director