Cro-Magnon, Brian Fagan

2012 Book 93: Cro-Magnon, by Brian Fagan (6/24/2012)

Categories: Science

Reason for Reading: Interest in the evolution of humans

My Review 4/5 stars
Cro-Magnon, by Brian Fagan introduces what is currently known (and speculated) about Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals. Fagan spices up his narrative with imaginative vignettes of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons as they may have lived. I imagine such vignettes would appeal to most everyone in the general public, including teens, though they may be a little irritating to a hard-core scientist who isn’t interested in imaginative speculation (just a guess…I loved them!). Another excellent feature of this book is that it has incorporated historic scientific discoveries about prehistoric peoples with modern science like mitochondrial DNA tracing. Again, this feature would be of interest to most of the general public, but isn’t meant for experts–there are a lot of simplifications for the sake of clarity. I think this book is an excellent introduction to prehistoric peoples that could be enjoyed by both adults and teens (even precocious pre-teens).

The Kin, by Peter Dickinson

2012 Book 46: The Kin, by Peter Dickinson (3/11/2012)

Reason for Reading: Wanted to read something prehistorical

My Review 4/5 stars
The Kin was originally written as a series of four short books, but it has been compiled into one book in later editions. It is set in Africa 200,000 years ago. A group of men has recently been ousted from their home by violent strangers, and they are wandering through the desert looking for new Good Places. When they abandon the four very young orphans for their own survival, two older children separate from the group and go back to rescue the little ones. This group of children then has many adventures and meets many strange people in these strange lands. Dickinson knows a lot about Africa and anthropology, making this story creative and interesting. I certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys survival and prehistoric adventures for tweenagers.