The Science of Bringing Lost Species Back to Life

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

In the twenty-first century, because of climate change and other human activities, many animal species have become extinct, and many others are at risk of extinction. Once they are gone, we cannot bring them back—or can we?

With techniques such as cloning, scientists want to reverse extinction and return lost species to the wild. Some scientists want to create clones of recently extinct animals, while others want to make new hybrid animals.

Many people are opposed to de-extinction. Some critics say that the work diverts attention from efforts to save species that are endangered. Others say that de-extinction amounts to scientists “playing God.” Explore the pros and cons of de-extinction and the cutting-edge science that makes it possible.

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Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Science, Young Adult
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction, Animals, STEM, STEM: Life Science/Animals
Copyright 2017
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 120
Publication Date 2017-01-01
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN050030, YAN050080, YAN055000
Dewey 591.68
Dimensions 6 x 9
Lexile 1140
ATOS Reading Level 8.2
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 188524
Accelerated Reader® Points 4.0
Features Bibliography/further reading, Charts/Graphs/Diagrams, Index, Primary source quotations/images, Reviewed, Source notes, and Table of contents

Author: Rebecca E. Hirsch

Rebecca E. Hirsch is an award- winning children's author with a PhD in plant biology. Her picture books include Plants Can't Sit Still and Night Creatures: Animals That Swoop, Crawl, and Creep while You Sleep. She lives with her husband and three children in State College, Pennsylvania. You can visit her online at



“A thought-provoking STEM title for research and debate.”—Booklist

School Library Journal

“An excellent overview of an intriguing new topic; highly recommended for science collections.”—School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“A staid but intellectually stimulating excursion across one of modern biology’s most promising, and controversial, frontiers.”—Kirkus Reviews

Midwest Book Review

Written especially for young adults, yet utterly fascinating for readers of all ages to browse, De- extinction: The Science of Bringing Lost Species Back to Life is about advances in scientific technology to potentially bring back animal species that have gone extinct. A real-life “Jurassic Park” scenario doesn’t exist yet, but projects to clone recently extinct animals, such as the gastric- brooding frog of Australia, are underway. Alternatively, it may be able to hybridize or genetically modify living animals to make them more like extinct animals, such as a modern Asian elephant that resembles the extinct woolly mammoth. A wealth of full-color photography, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index enrich this ey-opening introduction to a potential revolution of the natural order. Highly recommended, especially for high school and public library collections.