Category Archives: youth

Dinosaur Summer by Greg Bear

Dinosaur Summer coverGeoscience factor: Dinosaurs

Spoiler: Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World is true.

Rating: 5

This will be my last dinosaur book review for a while. Probably. Most likely. I promise!

Dinosaur Summer tells a decently average story of Peter Belzoni, a teenager who gets caught up in an uncommon journey. As he travels with his father, Peter meets historical figures and has personal encounters with the fading world of traveling circuses and in the lost land of dinosaurs. Somehow Peter’s adventures are both interesting and mellow, with no rise and fall, no buildup, climax, or satisfying denouement. There are drawings that accompany the text and they are cute and quaint.

I would recommend Dinosaur Summer as a light read for dinosaur fiction or Greg Bear fans.

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Filed under adventure, book review, paleontology, youth

Hogsel and Gruntel and other animal stories by Dick King-Smith

Hogsel and Gruntel coverGeoscience factor: Dinosaurs

Spoiler: Hogsel and Gruntel defeat the witch.

Rating: 7

Many of you may know Dick King-Smith because of the movie adaptation of Babe the gallant sheep-pig, but King-Smith wrote more than a hundred books.

Hogsel and Gruntel is a collection of children’s stories with some re-tellings and some new tellings, chosen for this blog because of the short story “Dinosaur School.”

The writing was simple and most enjoyable for its sense of humor. There were odd tidbits about the natural world, like when do hedgehogs hibernate, how many legs do octopi have, and what would a dinosaur do with two brains.

Much appreciated as well was the fact that while there might be lessons to be learned, most animals go along their grumpy way and seem to live life much as before without necessarily learning a moral.

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Filed under biology, book review, youth