Beetle Busters (Paperback)

A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It (Scientists in the Field Series)

By Loree Griffin Burns, Ellen Harasimowicz (Illustrator)

HMH Books for Young Readers, 9781328895721, 64pp.

Publication Date: July 24, 2018

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (10/7/2014)

List Price: 9.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A fascinating nonfiction photo essay about the tree-killing Asian long-horned beetle living in our very own backyards.

The Asian longhorned beetle came to America from China, living in wood turned into shipping material. At first the beetles invaded urban areas, where hardwood trees were in limited supply—but now there is bad news in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Ontario. Infestations have erupted in hardwood forests, and these beetles are very good at killing trees.

Clint McFarland’s job? Stop the ALB at any cost. How do you balance the needs of residents, the environment, and an invasive species primed to wipe out entire forests? It takes the help of everyday people, bug scientists, and tree doctors to eradicate this invasive pest.

About the Author

Loree Griffin Burns, Ph.D., did her doctoral at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Ms. Burns lives in Massachusetts with her husband and children. She is the author of Beetle Busters,Tracking Trash, and The Hive Detectives. Learn more about Loree at and follow her on Twitter @loreegburns.

Ellen Harasimowicz is a freelance photojournalist new to nature photography. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and Scientific American. Ellen lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Paul; her work can be seen at Follow Ellen on Twitter @ellharas.

Praise For Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It (Scientists in the Field Series)

* "A splendid example of science controversy in everyday life."
Kirkus, starred review

"Burns delivers a fascinating look at the origins of an invasive species and efforts to combat the damage it causes."
—Publishers Weekly

* "This fascinating, timely book might just change the way readers look at insects and trees for good."
Booklist, starred review

"The subject and the youth of many of the participants give this title an immediacy unusual even in this excellent series, bridging the gap between scientist and reader in a way that invites kids into the process."

"Clear photographs, charts, diagrams, and a straightforward text with appropriate scientific vocabulary outline the problem, from the beetle’s invasion and difficult discovery to the trees’ destruction and replanting."
—Horn Book Magazine

* "Abundant, close-up, color photos of the insect (from egg to pupa to mature adult), damaged trees, onsite workers, and informative labeled diagrams and maps help tell this disquieting story...A timely, well-told story and a call to action."
School Library Journal, starred review