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Mary Anning's Curiosity



by
Monica Kulling
illustrated by
Melissa Castrillón

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
House of Anansi Press
Imprint
Groundwood
ISBN
9781554988983

Awards and Honors
2018 USBBY Outstanding International Books, Grades 3–5
CCBC Choices 2018 Choice: Fiction for Children
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$15.30   $12.75
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Mary Anning, considered the world's greatest fossilist, discovered her first big find at the age of twelve. This novel is an imaginative recreation of her childhood in early nineteenth-century Lyme Regis. Author's note. Bibliography. Suggestions for further reading. Black-and-white illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

156

Trim Size

7 1/2" x 5"

Dewey

F

AR

5.2: points 2

Lexile

840L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

5

JLG Release

Jul 2017

Book Genres


Topics

Mary Anning (1799–1847). Family life. Fossils. Fossilists. Lyme Regis, England. Ichthyosaurus. Prehistoric creatures. Scientific discovery.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Mary Anning (1799–1847) has been described as the “greatest fossilist the world ever knew.” In actuality, there is very little definitively known about Anning’s childhood and later life. What cannot be disputed is her contribution to our modern understanding of prehistoric creatures and paleontology. In order to address this lack of personal history, Kulling has created a fictionalized account of Anning’s childhood, specifically focusing on the scientist’s first major fossil discovery at age 12, when she found an ichthyosaurus in the cliffs near her home in Lyme Regis, on the Southern coast of Great Britain. Kulling’s depiction of the family’s poverty and grief over many lost children is powerful, but these details never overshadow Mary’s development. Mary is drawn to the cliffs and the prospect of finding the “Giant Croc” bones of legend. Her brother Joe secures an apprenticeship elsewhere in town, leaving Mary with a brief description of the location of a piece of fossil he had discovered about a year earlier in the rock face. Armed with this knowledge and working carefully to avoid detection by the village con man, Captain Curry, Mary sets about seeking the location of the strange piece. With this fictionalized look at Anning’s childhood, Kulling provides context for readers and offers a fascinating glimpse at how those who came before us have shaped our comprehension of the world. VERDICT A strong additional purchase for large collections and where fictionalized biographies are appreciated.—Colleen S. Banick, Westport Public Schools, CT

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Mary Anning (1799–1847) has been described as the “greatest fossilist the world ever knew.” In actuality, there is very little definitively known about Anning’s childhood and later life. What cannot be disputed is her contribution to our modern understanding of prehistoric creatures and paleontology. In order to address this lack of personal history, Kulling has created a fictionalized account of Anning’s childhood, specifically focusing on the scientist’s first major fossil discovery at age 12, when she found an ichthyosaurus in the cliffs near her home in Lyme Regis, on the Southern coast of Great Britain. Kulling’s depiction of the family’s poverty and grief over many lost children is powerful, but these details never overshadow Mary’s development. Mary is drawn to the cliffs and the prospect of finding the “Giant Croc” bones of legend. Her brother Joe secures an apprenticeship elsewhere in town, leaving Mary with a brief description of the location of a piece of fossil he had discovered about a year earlier in the rock face. Armed with this knowledge and working carefully to avoid detection by the village con man, Captain Curry, Mary sets about seeking the location of the strange piece. With this fictionalized look at Anning’s childhood, Kulling provides context for readers and offers a fascinating glimpse at how those who came before us have shaped our comprehension of the world. VERDICT A strong additional purchase for large collections and where fictionalized biographies are appreciated.—Colleen S. Banick, Westport Public Schools, CT

Grades 3-5
Intermediate Readers
For Grades 3-5

A wide variety of novels and accessible nonfiction for younger elementary readers who love a good story comprise this category of 12 books per year. The focus in these titles is primarily on the text, though some novels may feature illustration.

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Intermediate Readers
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