Fall 2023


Nature's Cleanup Crew

From the Series Animal Scavengers in Action

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Black-backed jackals survive in Africa’s grasslands and deserts by being smart, quick, and bold. They will eat almost anything, from plants to the rotten flesh of dead animals. And they don’t hesitate to sneak up on feeding lions and other large predators to grab a share of their meals. Find out how black-backed jackals succeed and raise the next generation of scavengers.

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Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 4
Genre Science
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction, Animals
Copyright 2024
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Lerner Publications ™
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2023-08-01
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS JNF003240, JNF051150, JNF051100
Dewey 599.77/2
Dimensions 10 x 8
Lexile 1010
Guided Reading Level R
Features Author/Illustrator note, Glossary, Index, Reviewed, and Sidebars

Author: Sandra Markle

Sandra Markle is the author of numerous award-winning books for children. A former elementary science teacher, she is a nationally-known science education consultant. Markle has received many honors for her series Animal Predators, Animal Scavengers, and Animal Prey. Several titles have been named as National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)/Children’s Book Council (CBC) Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12, and Animal Predators was honored as a Top 10 Youth Nonfiction Series by Booklist. Markle is also the author of the Insect World series and several single titles. Her book Rescues! was named a Best Book by the Society of School Librarians International and a Recommended Title of Outstanding Nonfiction by the National Council of Teachers of English’s (NCTE) Orbis Pictus Award committee; Animal Heroes was named a 2008 Lasting Connections title by Book Links. Markle lives in Lakewood Ranch, Florida with her husband, photographer Skip Jeffery.


Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

In this selection from the illustrated “Nature’s Cleanup Crew” series, readers will meet the black-backed jackal, one of the most effective scavengers living in the grasslands of eastern and southern Africa. These jackals live, on average, eight years and have a sense of smell greater than that of wolves. Equipped with highly effective night vision, the ability to run up to twenty miles-per-hour, and adept reflexes the black-backed jackal is a highly effective carrion eater. Jackals can smell a dead animal at a range of more than a half-mile. This acute sense of smell, linked to jackals’ keen intelligence, makes them an animal that can live off of decaying carcasses or hunt small animals on their own. It is jackals that are the focus of this nature study as well as the environmental challenges they face.

As with other books in the parent series, this study of jackals allows readers to learn essential facts about the featured species while also seeing them in action via numerous closeup photographs. In this way readers are afforded the opportunity to gain factual knowledge about jackals while also being given a clear look at visual depictions of them hunting, traveling, or interacting within their packs. Jackals mate for life, and it is not uncommon for a jackal who loses their mate to refrain from seeking another. These highly social animals are excellent parents and dedicate themselves to each years set of pups. Readers with an interest in animals, nature, or environmental issues will do well to read this book and the other selections from the series it belongs to.