Friend or Foe

Etta Kaner

David Anderson

Rats, mosquitoes, bats, cockroaches, leeches, vultures — it’s easy to fear and despise them. But are they all bad? You probably know that rats destroy food supplies and can cause house fires when they gnaw on electrical wires, but did you know their supersensitive noses can help detect tuberculosis or even land mines?

Are these conventionally icky critters really public enemies, or do they have merits worth appreciating? Friend or Foe takes a close look at what we dislike about each of 10 unpopular animals, and then presents the flip side: these very same animals are often smart, helpful to humans and the environment, or inspiring to scientists.

After each pair of polarizing spreads, readers are asked to decide for themselves if the animal is friend or foe. Fascinating research and anecdotes, fun design inspired by propaganda posters, and playful use of persuasive language and point of view make Friend or Foe an engaging read that will leave readers reconsidering common perceptions.

Informational text features: table of contents, headings and labels, indexEtta Kaner, David Anderson
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SKU: 199488n0nn1nWWW | ISBN: 9781771472227

"Etta Kaner's conversational, persuasive writing style allows readers to consider different viewpoints in a highly entertaining manner." - The National Reading Campaign

"A fascinating book." - School Library Journal

"A fun, interactive, and high-interest exploration of biology basics." - Booklist

"I learned a lot of stuff. This is an awesome book!" - Kids' Book Buzz

"Friend or Foe will be fun to read on one's own or to share with a friend...these accounts are good examples of valid pro/con arguments to get kids thinking critically, learning how to defend their own point of view, and to have empathy for the opinions of others. Highly recommended." - Canadian Review of Materials

"Presents in turn a selection of destructive or disgusting habits, then beneficial behaviors." - Kirkus

"Well written using simple language injected with good humour and some drama." - Resource Links

Nominated for the Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Willow Awards, 2016

Alberta Rocky Mountain Book Awards, 2016

Finalist, Silver Birch Nonfiction Award, 2017

Silver Birch Nonfiction Honour Book

Texas Topaz Nonfiction List, 2018

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Publication date

November 1, 2015

Number of pages


Interest age

From 8 to 12