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From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth Story: Book 2 (The Universe Series) Paperback – January 1, 2003

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From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth Story: Book 2 (The Universe Series) + Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story : Book 1 (The Universe Series) + Mammals Who Morph: The Universe Tells Our Evolution Story: Book 3 (The Universe Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

". . . The sooner children hear these words, the better off they will be. --Thomas Berry, author of "Dream of the Earth."

About the Author

Jennifer Morgan’s work as a storyteller, author, educator and environmental advocate flows out of her love of the natural world and cosmology. As former director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, she started numerous educational and marketing programs for farmers and consumers, both locally and nationally. Currently she is an adjunct staff member at Genesis Farm, teaching the Sacred Universe Story. A portion of Ms. Morgan’s royalties from the sale of this book are donated to earth literacy centers. Her storytelling evolved from bedtime stories for her son who wanted to know more and more, even the texture of the edge of the Universe. She believes that our cosmology stories fundamentally shape us, our relationships, our work, our play, our culture, our institutions, our everything. Jennifer is also the author of Born With A Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story.

Dana Lynne Andersen, M.A., is a multi-media artist, playwright and teacher with degrees in philosophy and consciousness studies. Her paintings, often very large in size, explore the swirling forces of energy that underlie matter and seek to reveal life's numinous mystery. She believes that as our "depth perception" expands - billions of galaxies discovered in our lifetime! - it is also essential to expand perception inwardly to the vastness within. She is founder of Awakening Arts, a network of artists who "affirm the noble purpose of art as a vehicle for uplifting the human spirit.Dana is also the illustrator of Born With A Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Series: From Lava to Life (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Dawn Pubns; 1 edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584690429
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584690429
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 9.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When my son was six years old, I got hooked, I mean really hooked, on cosmology. . . the science of it and the emerging "new story" about where we come from. The writings of Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, and Maria Montessori, among many others knocked me off my horse, igniting a passion for this work and providing a philosophical basis . . . while courses at Princeton University, as well as countless conversations with scientists who were so generous with their time, provided the scientific basis for my writing.

Naturally, my son (no longer six as you can see in the picture) had to hear about everything I was learning. I taught him through bedtime stories about hydrogen forming inside the big bang, stars igniting, supernovae forging the elements for life, and the birth of our sun and earth and humans out of star dust. He was fascinated too and would ask things like, "Mom, what's the texture of the edge of the universe?" These stories turned into an award-winning series with endorsements from renowned scientists in astro-physics, evolutionary biology and anthropology; educators; and religious leaders. They're now used in classrooms around the world, by adults who want to learn the essential science concepts, and for reflection on retreats. I give storytellings and programs for adults, children, and organizations and would love to hear from you! There's lots more information on my website at www.UniverseStories.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kristen M. on December 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a scientist who works on early evolution I was looking for a book for my 7 year old cousin who is fascinated by science that would counterbalance the creationism he is getting in Sunday school. I purchased this book after reading reviews but was skeptical that it would be accurate. I was beyond thrilled while reading through it! Jennifer Morgan does an excellent job of taking the origin of life, evolution of eukaryotes, prokaryotes and metazoans, the oxygen crisis, migration from sea to land and mass extinctions and making it understandable to children (and lay adults!)

I found no true errors in the science, only things that I wish were expanded on such as calling the "mounds of bacteria" what they are, stromatolites (though I may be biased as I work on these and other similar structures!)

Evolution is never mentioned by name though she does a wonderful job of saying that certain animals are "your ancestors" and, for example, how dinosaurs evolved into what are ancestors to modern birds.

I honestly believe that not only should every child be reading this book and that it would be an excellent addition to grade school science curriculum, but that every adult in the United States should read this as well. I had several adult friends and family members read it and they said they finally understood certain concepts that I work on and have tried to explain to them in the past. One friend actually said "oh so that is the difference between a eukaryote and a prokaryote!" I'm going to purchase a second copy to keep for myself to help explain the origins of life and early evolution to others.

I look forward to purchasing the other two books in this series and highly recommend this book to anyone.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on March 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Told as if the Universe has patted her lap & invited to you up for grand story, she takes you back into a time before time, when the Earth was formed, long, long before you or I were motes in the storm. Long before dinosaurs were born & flowers grew.
Told in a confidential, amusing & lyrical turn of phrase, FROM LAVA TO LIFE spills the beans on how life began here from microscopic cells in a churning brew of chemicals as our raw orb rolled around the heavens.
Fascinating images! Dana Lynn Andersen captures our imagination with her broad strokes of things bigger & smaller than one pair of eyes can see. Jennifer Morgan's sense of humor is both reverential & irreverent, charming & instructive.
If you are stumped when your kids ask the oldest of questions: "Where did I come from?" Then FROM LAVA TO LIFE & its prequel BORN WITH A BANG are for you!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amy Ray on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the science in this book may be sound, the way it is presented made me decide not to show it to my 9 year old daughter for whom I had purchased it. I didn't know that I ought to take the sub-title seriously. "The Universe Tells Our Earth Story" means that the authorial voice is actually that of the universe (ie, God). Here's a sample from page 7: "Earth was one of my most imaginative young planets. Her dreams were packed with worms and wolves, daffodils and dinos, raccoons and baboons, peach trees and palm trees, caves and castles. Would Earth become all those things in her dreams? I wondered too..." Her "dreams"? The author anthropomorphizes the universe and earth, assigning earth a female gender and imagining "her" to have dreams. That's science? And when the author writes "How i loved your special planet." she gives a personality to the universe that implies intention and design. "Intelligent Design" is the latest branding for religious dogma masked as science; this book, perhaps inadvertently, supports that point of view. From the reviews I read that lead me to purchase the book, I got the impression that the author would present the story of earths evolution based purely on science, rather than imposing a creation myth. It's disappointing that she muddies her science with gratuitous poetic license. I prefer my science straight.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
From Lava To Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth Story by storyteller, educator, and environmental advocate Jennifer Morgan is the second volume in an amazing summary series for readers ages 8 through 12 of what science can tell us about how the Earth came to be, and how life arose upon and in it. Vividly illustrated in striking color by Dana Lynne Andersen, From Lava To Life is a most fascinating introduction to science for young readers, beginning with the formation of the earth and concluding with the age of the dinosaur. From Lava To Life is also available in hardcover. Also very highly recommended for young readers is the first volume covering the birth the universe and the development of the solar system, Born With A Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story: Book 1.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By S. Forsman on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book as it was recommended in my teacher's manual for fourth grade science. Having the "universe" making decisions and thinking smacks of intelligent design and undermines the basic theories of evolution and natural selection that we are preparing our students to understand in the upper grades. I will not use this book in my classroom.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Conspicuous Consumer TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading this book, my five-year-old grandson brought me a picture he had drawn of a eukaryote with a twisted DNA helix and mitochondria. I promptly order its sequel. I even reread the book on my own to help my understanding of the terminology of early evolution.
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