by Peter Larson and Kristin Donnan
School Library Journal
Starred Review. Gr 5-9–In this practical guide, Larson shares his obvious passion for his work, discussing scientific methods and a wide variety of fossil-hunting techniques. The conversational style of the writing, filled with plenty of challenging questions and easy-to-follow analogies, effectively brings readers into this fascinating world. While most will probably never get the opportunity to prepare fossils in a lab, the basic instructions convey what it would be like if the chance should arise. The value of finding a mentor–someone with more experience who can make fossil finding more interesting (and safe) for young beginners–is stressed. Though Larson asserts that anyone can hunt fossils in one way or another, he also makes it clear that it can be hard and time-consuming work: "It takes about 25,000 hours of skilled preparation to clean a whole T. rex." Many of the examples used come from the author's own finds, and notable discoveries made by kids and teens are also highlighted. A teacher's guide is appended. Illustrations include high-quality color photographs and helpful diagrams and drawings. There's fascinating information here, and Larson's enthusiasm and sound advice give plenty of encouragement to young scientists.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
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