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Dinosaur Mountain: Digging into the Jurassic Age Hardcover – April 27, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 3–6—Using the same tawny palette as in Down the Colorado (Farrar, 2007), Ray has painted soft-edged backdrops for her lucid exposition of the life work of Earl Douglass, fossil-finder extraordinaire. Benefitting from the Cope/Marsh "Bone Wars" and the deep pockets of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Douglass embarked on a1909 expedition to the Uinta Basin (Utah) to find Carnegie's demand for "something big." What he found was BIG—a bone bed that ultimately became Dinosaur National Monument. The readable text is bracketed by large illustrations and smaller diagrams, charts, maps, and, most importantly, direct quotes from Douglass's field journals. Added for readers' edification is a cast of characters of 10 Jurassic dinosaurs found at Dinosaur Mountain, a large map of the monument (which spreads across the Utah/Colorado border), an extensive author's note, a brief bio of Douglass, and an even briefer one of Carnegie. With its sand-colored pages, the warmth of the palette, and the brown script of the journal notes, this is a vibrant window into the burgeoning world of American paleontology a century ago. A rich find.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

When 165,000 people flocked to see the first exhibited dinosaur, in 1868, it commenced the “Bone Wars”—a race by rival paleontologists to turn up and identify the most spectacular of extinct giants. Archrivals “stooped to underhanded methods, including spying, bribery, and even hijacking fossil shipments.” But when Earl Douglass was employed by Andrew Carnegie to find “something big,” he set out with the best of intentions and found the biggest rewards: a mountain in Utah that would ultimately reveal some of the greatest and grandest dinosaur skeletons anyone had ever seen. Although Ray’s expressive art lacks the fine detail to help illustrate complicated excavation techniques, it excels in capturing the grandeur and wonder of key moments, like Douglass stumbling upon a six-foot thigh bone or the uncovering of a massive line of a vertebrae. Excited journal entries from Douglass enliven the informative text, and small sketch book–style drawings of fossils and tools add a scholarly touch. This will push all-new buttons of the dinosaur lovers in your life. Grades 4-6. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1140L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); First Edition edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374317895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374317898
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 0.4 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,449,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Deb HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Crowds of people were amazed at the dinosaur skeleton they saw at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. It was 1868 and it was like nothing they had ever seen before. Each individual had to gaze a full three stories high to see the skull of the amazing dinosaur. The curators of the museum had hoped that interest in dinosaurs would be sparked by this exhibit and they certainly weren't disappointed. Anxious to find additional dinosaur skeletons to exhibit curators and bone hunters alike sparked what became known as the "Bone Wars."

By 1877 the Bone Wars were becoming heated when site after site in the West uncovered "huge dinosaur bones." "Bone hunters" (paleontologists) were anxious to not only garner large numbers of bones, but also fame. Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh had the distinction of being two of the best bone hunters. Their relationship was not a partnership, but rather a rivalry in which they "are said to have stooped to underhanded methods, including spying, bribery, and even hijacking fossil shipments bound back east for each other's museums."

It was a "dinosaur craze" that even the likes of Andrew Carnegie could not resist. In this book you will read about Earl Douglass, a quiet, but persistent fossil hunter and expert, how he methodically searched for bones, you'll get to see drawings of ancient fossilized creatures, you'll read about Dr. William Holland and "Dad Goodrich" who joined Douglass, their amazing discoveries, you'll get glimpses of Earl's diary, and much more!

This is an amazing tale of discovery that will rivet the young, curious dinosaur lover. Many books, that keep the dino lover's attention, focus on the dinosaurs themselves, but few seem to discuss the actual discovery of their fossilized remains.
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Format: Hardcover
I read the daily reports on the current ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and I think about how it is going to take the Best and the Brightest of this and the next couple of generations to possibly mitigate the catastrophic and interrelated environmental problems that continue to stack up around and above our planet like a house of cards. Unfortunately, it's the only house we've all got, the only hand we're being dealt, and we either address these problems in a serious manner pronto or the game is going to be over.

We need exceptional science curriculums in our schools and we need to persuade lots of our most talented young people that science is an exciting frontier awaiting them. We also need great books like DINOSAUR MOUNTAIN: DIGGING INTO THE JURASSIC AGE.

DINOSAUR MOUNTAIN, the story of Earl Douglass' discovery, a century ago, of a mother lode of dinosaur bones in eastern Utah, is science and biography writing for children at its finest. You have the excitement of finding seventy-foot long dinosaur skeletons. You have the danger of working with TNT, living in tents in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes working in temperatures of forty degrees below zero. You have great explanations -- with accompanying illustrations -- of how the work of excavating and preserving these fragile bones was actually conducted.

And you have a great photo on the back cover of Earl Douglass. I adore this photo. He's in front of a wall of sandstone marked with grids, with his hand on a bone that's almost as long as he is tall.
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Format: Hardcover
A totally engaging story about one man's lifelong passion for digging up dinosaurs. The reader is treated to a concise history of dinosaur excavation in the western United States. Not only is the story fascinating to read for its own sake, but the reader really comes to see just how young the `dinosaur industry' is! The author's painted illustrations bring the scenes to life. Many informative sidebars elucidate and enhance the story without repeating what is already contained in the text. This is a great book for a project or report for ages 9 to 12, or for reading before visiting a Museum of Natural History or a family summer car trip to Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah. Or, just read it as its own captivating story!
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