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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students




*Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates* by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw- young adult book review  
Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates
by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw
Grades 8+ 185 pages Charlesbridge February 2010 Hardcover    

An in-depth look at four key archaeological discoveries of human-like remains, Every Bone Tells a Story narrates the accounts of Turkana Boy (Kenya), Lapedo Child (Portugal), Kennewick Man (Washington State) and Iceman (Italy). Each of these discoveries represents a significant breakthrough in our understanding of pre-historic man. All sections begin with the death of the body and surmise the cause of death and preservation of the body until the time of its discovery.

The discovery stories are all different – some found by accident, others as part of organized archaeological digs. All encounter diverse issues such as funding, public reactions, weather, etc.

Likewise, the deductions are all unique. Clues from the skeletons provide insight into not only the age of the person, but diet and cause of death. Each archaeological site itself yields further information about the person and how he or she may have lived. In some cases, virtual reconstruction of the appearance of the skeletons, based on the techniques of forensic anthropology, depict how some of the people may have appeared, while other examinations of the skull yield insight into their ability to speak.

Debates about what these skeletal remains can teach us about the development of language, the relationship between humans and Neanderthal man, the movement of mankind into the Americas and the transformation of farming communities from hunter/gatherer communities continue to the present day. Controversy abounds when ancient skeletons are found as new discoveries challenge traditional scientific thought.

Best read one complete section at a time, this book is a wonderful starting point for research on human skeletal archaeology with resources for further reading, related websites, timeline, index, glossary, bibliography and detailed source notes. Although it includes photographs, diagrams and maps, most of the narrative text runs one paragraph after another with few sidebars or subdivisions summarizing information. By subdividing each section into the discovery, deductions, debates and further resources, the authors organize the information in a manner which makes it easy for students to compare and contrast each discovery.

Pair this book with Sally Walker’s Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland to provide an exceptional overview of modern forensic archaeology.
 
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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  Kristine Wildner/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  






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