"Harley's appealing story shows readers that adults and children can connect in meaningful friendships, and reminds them that conservation can begin in their own backyards." Kirkus Review
     
About the Book:
 
 

Ben Moroney is new in Edenboro, Massachusetts, and missing his friends and the desert around his old home in Tucson, Arizona. Things start to change, though, when he meets a strange new science teacher in muddy hiking boots who likes having frogs in her classroom. Soon Ben is learning from Mrs. Tibbets -not in school, but out in the woods. When Ben makes a huge mistake, he has to act to save his friendship with his teacher and his new classmates, as well as find a way to save the endangered habitat of a little group of Eastern Spadefoot toads. Night of the Spadefoot Toads is a book about nature and wildlife, friends, school, bullies, and finding a home in the world. The story reminds us that the place around the corner has its own secrets and treasures.

 
     
 
Resources for Toad Lovers and Vernal Pool Savers
 
  Saving the rain forests is important, but don't forget about your own neighborhood. Vernal pools don't look like much, but they harbor species like the spadefoot toad that are an important part of the web of life. They need our protections, too, and they're right around the corner, if we take the time to look. Many students around the United States have worked to save vernal pools in their areas. You can, too!  
     
  To learn more about vernal pools, check out these resources.  
     
 
In Print
 
     
  The Frog Book, by Mary Dickerson (Dover). An old but accurate and beautifully written book about all the species of frogs found in the U.S. It's a classic.  
     
  Frog Heaven: Ecology of a Vernal Pool, by Doug Wechsler (Boyds). A great book, especially for students.  
     
  Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv (Algonquin Books). A book about the importance of nature in children's lives.  
     
 

Vernal Pool Lessons and Activities, by Nancy Childs and Betsy Colburn, and Certified: A Citizen's Step-by-Step Guide to Protecting Vernal Pools, Elizabeth A. Colburn, ed. (Massachusetts Audubon Society). An excellent workbook and a useful field manual for young people and teachers interest in identifying and preserving vernal pools and the critters that thrive in them.

(both titles are available from the Mass Audubon Shop -limited titles in their online store, but you can download their catalog)

 
     
  Vernal Pools: Natural History and Conservation, by Betsy Colburn (MacDonald and Woodward). Everything you ever wondered about when it comes to vernal pools.  
     
     
 
On the Web
 
     
  A search for "vernal pools" or "spadefoot toads" will turn up a wealth of information. And don't forget to look on YouTube and other video sites for some great videos of kids and adults working to save vernal pools.  
     
 
Vernal pools:
  Spadefoot Toads:  
 

www.vernalpool.org

The Vernal Pool Association offers resources for students and community people who want to identify and preserve vernal pools.

  animals.howstuffworks.com/amphibians/spadefoot-toad-info.htm
quick overview of the spadefoot toad
 
     
  www.sacsplash.org/explore-investigate/-vernal-pools-mather-field
Information about the vernal pools of Mather Field
  www.uga.edu/srelherp/anurans/scahol.htm
you can find out what the Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii) sounds like
 
     
  www.vernalpools.org
Focusing specifically on Californian vernal pools, but there is tons of info about all the other life forms found there.
 

www.netstate.com/states/symb/amphibians/

nm_spadefoot_toad.htm

The New Mexico Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata) is the official state amphibian

 
     
  www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/types/vernal.html
Info from the Environmental Protection Agency
 

www.stoller-eser.com/trial/colorbook/

spadefoot.html
you can "color" the spadefoot toad

 
     
 

www.uri.edu/cels/nrs/paton/

This will tell you more about the vernal pools that Ben discovered in the book.

 

animals.jrank.org/pages/72/Spadefoot-Toads-Pelobatidae.html

A few more details, plus a few specifics about the Plains Spadefoot Toad

 
     
 
You can also contact your local nature center or state department of natural resources for more information about vernal pools, amphibians, and other critters in the wild ?and in your back yard!
 
  http://www.audubon.org/
you can find your local center and chapter
 

www.fws.gov/offices/statelinks.html

Here are links by state for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation

 
     
 
What you found out
 
     
 

We'd love to hear from you! Let us know the most interesting thing you discovered about spadefoot toads and/or vernal pools. Or if you found a resource that we didn't list that you think others should know about. Or if there is an endangered animal in your area that you have tried to save.

Email us at Michele@billharley.com