From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 5–8—Deem's lucid account explores mummified remains recovered from several glacial locations and time periods. The many discoveries presented include the famous 5300-year-old Alpine Iceman Ötzi, the mummified Incan children of the Andes Mountains, and the identification of George Mallory's body on Mount Everest. The background and methodology of glaciology are examined, as are relevant issues in climate change and archaeology; historical photographs of glaciers are compared to modern photographs of the same, much-receded ice. Full-color photographs, reproductions, and maps are clearly captioned; grand images of glaciated mountain peaks span entire pages, and detailed pictures of recovered objects, including the mummies themselves, the Iceman's ax, and surviving fabric fragments are presented. To nitpick one point, Deem states that scientists "don't understand" why the Ice Age glaciers retreated, instead of mentioning the Milankovitch cycles as a consensus explanation. Nonetheless, this volume provides updated information, including new insights into the causes of the Iceman Ötzi's death. With its extensive bibliography, suggested Web sites, and a listing of glaciers to visit, Bodies is a fantastic resource. Deem superbly weaves diverse geographical settings, time periods, and climate issues into a readable work that reveals the increasing interdisciplinary dimensions of the sciences.—Jeff Meyer, Slater Public Library, IA
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There are books about melting glaciers and books about frozen bodies, but this attractive offering combines the topics in a way that will intrigue readers. It begins with a chance discovery by walkers in northern Italy who find a thawing corpse originally thought to be from the 1800s. Scientists later realized the body was more than 5,000 years old. As glaciers melt throughout the world, more frozen bodies are appearing, adding greatly to the knowledge researchers have about history and culture. Individual chapters cover types of glaciers and why they are fertile territory for housing bodies; the Chamonix glacier, which saw women climbers in the early 1800s; and the mystery of George Mallory, who died trying to climb Mt. Everest. Perhaps most fascinating to kids will be the chapter on recently discovered Incan children sacrificed to the gods. The pictures of these children, looking as though they might be sleeping, are arresting. Heavily illustrated with historical memorabilia as well as photos of bodies, scenery, artifacts, and rather simplistic maps, this offers a lot to look at and learn about. Grades 4-7. --Ilene Cooper
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