Audience: Suitable for YA+, non-fiction, historical
Length: 416 pages
Author: Stephen Brusatte
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex,Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”
Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.
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I LOVE DINOSAURS.
OH WOW, if you have any love for dinosaurs, read this book. It just hit my my top favorites for non-fiction books.
Y’all, this man LOVES dinos. And you can feel that on every page. You’re dragged in and loving the dinosaurs as much as he does. There was a magnificent flow and pace to the book. It would flow from Brusatte telling a personal story of finding a fossil, adding in pieces of how fossils are studied today, and then tying it all back to how that creature was living in prehistoric times.
It was amazing! I have always been absolutely fascinated with dinosaurs, so that probably is definitely enforcing my love and appreciation for this book. They’re so many places that dinosaurs are still currently being found. It is not a dead science, there’s so much more we can gather from fossils. He describes all of his colleagues and friends so eloquently that you really get an understanding of their personality and character.
All of the scientific analyzing felt like it would fly over my head, but Brusatte does a great job of putting it all into simple terms (I am horrid at math, so this was especially helpful) so anyone can understand.
Lastly, his ability to narrate his take on what dinosaurs lived like was it’s own story. I felt those dinosaurs as he described the asteroid hitting Earth. His use of pretty prose kept me engaged and flipping pages.
Also, guys, there’s pictures!! My biggest struggle was literally (no really, ask my husband) Googling every single dinosaur name that didn’t have a photo. I personally wanted to know what every one of them looked like. It would have been awesome to have more photos, but I understand that it would essentially be a picture book at that point.
Overall audiences notes:
– Non-fiction book, appropriate for all ages
– No language
– Violence is maybe a minor description of a dinosaur attacking another