Monday, January 10, 2022

Fossil Hunter: How Mary Anning Changed the Science of Prehistoric Life


Fossil Hunter is a beautifully illustrated and well written biography of Mary Anning for young readers written by Cheryl Blackford. Due out 25th Jan 2022 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on their Clarion Books imprint, it's 128 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. 

I love children's nonfiction. This is a well written, factually based biography aimed at younger readers (~7-10 years of age) which manages to provide a kid-friendly version of Anning's often frustrating and impoverished life. She was rejected by the scientific establishment at the same time they were acknowledging her as an expert in her field. The book gleefully provides the information that she correctly identified coprolites as fossilized feces as well as identifying many other fosselized remains including early cephalopods (squids).

The text is age appropriate and engaging. The art by Ellen Duda is beautifully rendered and supports the text very well. This is definitely a book which would grab the interest of most kids. I found it interesting and learned quite a lot of information of which I was previously unaware.

The book includes a glossary, abbreviated chapter notes, some resources for viewing some of Anning's fossils in collections, a solid bibliography for further reading, and a cross referenced index (not included in the ARC provided for review).

Five stars. This would make a great selection for a classroom or public library, as well as a child's home library or gift.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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