Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines by Charlotte Bennardo

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


In a quiet wood, a common gray squirrel is going to start a war. It begins when a boy befriends and names him Jack, then teaches him words-and how to use simple machines like the wheel. Jack shares what he’s learned with Sister but she’s more interested in a meadow squirrel. When construction machines invade the wood, Jack wants to save his tree and nest. He wants stop them. He asks Owl, the old Mother of the forest, to call a Gathering.

The animals panic when he tells them he wants to fight the machines to save the wood. He shows the animals how to roll stones and makes a plan. Fox and Rat are suspicious, and do not want to help–until Jack reminds Fox that his den is closest to the machines. Almost all the animals, Fox, Beaver, Rat, Bird, Buck, and even Sister, agree to Jack’s plan. Together they work to destroy the machines, but don’t finish. They try again–and while they are successful, the humans become very interested in Jack. The animals may win the battle, but not win the war.


Evolution Revolution is an adventure perfect for middle graders! It’s exciting, funny, and explains some of the simple machines very well.

The characters are entertaining as they have their little banter, and how all of the animals work together using their strengths is educational for the young readers to learn about them and their habitats and lifestyles.

The human character is a disabled boy, and I liked the author built him up and made him smart and friendly, potentially helping the youngsters to not be afraid of kids who are in wheelchairs.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with Evolution Revolution and recommend it middle grade readers or as a good read aloud for families with children under 11 years old.

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