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Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth

by Jay Hosler
New York: Hill and Wang, 2011. 151 pages.

Reviewer Scott Hatfield praises Hosler’s graphic novel as both amusing and educational, writing, “Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth makes it clear that the ideas first glimpsed by Darwin are not confined to old textbooks, but instead form the basis of an active, lively field of scientific inquiry.

Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth

by Sandra Dutton
New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010. 144 pages.

“This is a story about the interaction of science and religion, told from the perspective of a 10-year-old,” writes reviewer David C. Kopaska-Merkel. “Nevertheless, there is a lot of science in this book, both fact and theory”—particularly concerning trilobites. While the book is aimed at a young adult audience, “I enjoyed reading it myself. The characters are solid and the story well told.

Pioneers of Geology: Discovering Earth's Secrets

by Margaret W. Carruthers and Susan Clinton
New York: Franklin Watts, 2001. 144 pages.

Suitable for budding geologists in fifth through ninth grades, Pioneers of Geology engagingly presents the history of geology by concentrating on the life and works of six important geologists: James Hutton, Charles Lyell, G. K. Gilbert, Alfred Wegener, Harry Hess, and Gene Shoemaker (who not only discovered the comet Shoemaker–Levy 9, but also is widely considered the father of planetary geology).

Earthsteps: A Rock's Journey Through Time

by Diane Nelson Spickert, illustrated by Marianne D Wallace
Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing, 2010. 32 pages.

Is the 250-million-year career of a rock a suitable subject for a picture book aimed at kindergarteners through third-graders? Yes! Writes the reviewer for The Children's Bookwatch, "Marianne Wallace's artwork is nothing short of spectacular. Diane Spickert's narrative text is absolutely faithful to the geology and paleontology of the Earth's record as recorded by fossils.

The Scopes Trial: Defending the Right to Teach

by Arthur Blake
Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press, 1994. 64 pages.

The Scopes Trial was, at bottom, about what children ought to be taught in science class, so it is appropriate that Blake wrote his book specifically for children between 9 and 12, clearly and thoroughly describing the Scopes trial and its enduring significance for religion, education, and society. Contains photographs, bibliography, chronology, and index. Part of the Spotlight on American History series.

Dar and the Spear-Thrower

by Marjorie Cowley
New York: Clarion Books, 1996. 188 pages.

Written by the creator of a 30-hour curriculum on Prehistoric People and Their World, this story is set in Southern France, 15,000 years ago. A coming of age story that is especially appealing to sixth graders, the book is rich in details about the daily life and technology of prehistoric hunter-gatherers. The novel and accompanying teachers' guide are also designed to "get students to think like archaeologists." Grades 5–7. Approved for use in teaching 6th grade prehistory in California.

Raptors, Fossils, Fins & Fangs: A Prehistoric Creature Feature

by Brad Matsen & Ray Troll
Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press, 1998. 48 pages.

With vividly colored illustrations by Ray Troll (whose delightful illustrations grace every issue of RNCSE) and text by Brad Matsen, Raptors, Fossils, Fins & Fangs describes the history of animal life from the Cambrian to the present, using representative species from trilobites to you and me. Perfect for children aged 5–9 and the people who love them (with timelines on every page for curious grownups). "Troll and Matsen are the best," writes Peter Ward of the University of Washington: "This book is for all the kids, grown and otherwise, who still love fossils."

From So Simple a Beginning

by Philip Whitfield
New York: Macmillan, 1993. 220 pages.

With more than 400 stunning illustrations including color photographs and diagrams that genuinely clarify the text, this book tells the story of life and lucidly explains evolutionary principles — no misconceptions allowed. Fascinating insets illustrate concepts like mutation and adaptation with phenomena ranging from the sickle-cell gene to the rattlesnake's heat sensors. Foreword by Roger Lewin. Ages 12–grandparent.

Dinosaur Ghosts: The Mystery of Coelophysis

by J. Lynett Gillette, illustrated by Douglas Henderson
New York: Dial, 1997. 32 pages.

Science comes alive in Lynett Gillette's story of the remarkable discovery of fossils at Ghost Ranch, where, 225 million years ago, hundreds of Coelophysis dinosaurs perished "in a tangle of necks, tails, arms, and legs." What catastrophe caused their death and burial? In considering the various scenarios — volcano? flood? poisoned water? asteroid? — Gillette painlessly introduces young readers to the scientific method. Profusely illustrated, with haunting paintings by Douglas Henderson.

The Little Giant Book of Dinosaurs

by Thomas R. Holtz Jr.
New York: Sterling Publishing, 2001. 352 pages.

As The Little Giant Book of Dinosaurs reminds us in its opening words, "There was a time when nobody knew about dinosaurs." Aided by Terry Riley's numerous black-and-white illustrations, Thomas R. Holtz carefully and concisely explains how the dinosaurs were discovered, what we know about them, where they came from, and where they went. The book includes a useful glossary as well as lists of dinosaurs by epoch and by location. The author, who teaches at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a member of NCSE.


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