The Monarch Effect: Surviving Poison, Predators, and People


Author: Dana L. Church

*Signed Bookplates!*

A not-so-typical look at the mysteries of the monarch butterfly

Scholastic Focus is the premier home of thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and thoughtfully designed works of narrative nonfiction aimed at middle grade and young adult readers. These books help readers learn about the world in which they live and develop their critical thinking skills so that they may become dynamic citizens who are able to analyze and understand our past, participate in essential discussions about our present, and work to grow and build our future.

With their stunning black-and-orange wings, monarch butterflies are one of the most recognizable insects on the planet. But despite their delicate beauty, these creatures are warriors. The moment they hatch, they’re fighting for their lives. Everything is the enemy: from the very leaf they live on to the humans and animals around them to nature itself. How does such a tiny egg survive to become a butterfly? And even after emerging from the cocoon, unimaginable danger awaits: migration.

Every year, monarchs take flight, making one of the greatest migrations in the world. However, for a long time, their destination was unknown within the scientific community. Through the research of scientists in Canada and the United States and the support and efforts of ordinary people as well as Indigenous knowledge in Mexico, that mystery was finally solved. But to do so would involve years of searching across three countries and encounters with feuding scientists, the consequences of colonialism, and life-and-death stakes.

Weaving together the untold story of survival, scientific discoveries, and the relationship between humans and butterflies, The Monarch Effect explores how one small insect can have an incredible impact on the entire planet.