Official Review: Fossil Detectives and the Mysterious Skull

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Mercy Bolo
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Official Review: Fossil Detectives and the Mysterious Skull

Post by Mercy Bolo » 01 Dec 2018, 02:48

[Following is an official review of "Fossil Detectives and the Mysterious Skull" by Caren Bonds Hanson.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Fossil Detectives and the Mysterious Skull by Caren Bonds Hanson is a sci-fi/fantasy book that narrates the story of two siblings who experience an unexpected adventure.

Dante and Lexy, aged twelve and ten respectively, are volunteers at a local science center. They learn how to preserve and take care of fossils while accumulating knowledge about animal species. When a shipment from Ethiopia arrives, the children do their job diligently, unaware that there's an ancient soul trapped inside one of the skulls. In its quest to get home, the spirit sends the youngsters on a journey through time, landing them in various prehistoric periods.

Adventure is the most prominent theme in the story. Dante and Lexy's experience will give readers an adrenaline rush and leave them fearing for the youngsters' safety. I like how the siblings worked together to navigate the hostile conditions that met them at their destinations. Their ingenuity is nothing short of spectacular, and a silver lining arose from the ordeal. The children maximized the opportunity and used it to put their knowledge to practice. They brushed shoulders with different species and classified them by analyzing their features. From their debates, it's evident that one sibling paid more attention in class.

What I liked most about the book is that the author included educative elements, infusing the content in a fun and exciting manner. Readers will learn a few things about evolution, Geography, and history. Those who are past the schooling age will have an opportunity to refresh their memory. There are also multiple choice questions at the end of the book, which readers can use to test their retention. Sprinkled throughout the text are photographs and illustrations that complement the work. I found these useful because they depict various creatures, and the author also included charts on human evolution. I applaud Marissa Morris, the illustrator, for the detailed images.

The author did a stellar job at character development, presenting the lead protagonists as actual children. They were curious, imaginative, mischievous and everything in between. From the many dialogues, they respected the adults but also spoke in a manner typical of children their age. The author also uses simple language, and I appreciate this because the many evolutionary terms are sophisticated enough.

Although I noticed a few errors, mostly misspelled words, they didn't detract from the reading experience. Eliminating the typos is the only modification I would make to the book. I will award this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars for it is an exciting read that deserves nothing less. I'll recommend it to young adults, lovers of fantasy stories, and fans of coming-of-age literature.

Fossil Detectives and the Mysterious Skull
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Post by MalMartin » 02 Dec 2018, 02:27

Thank you for the review. I am glad to know there isn't a lot of typos. I love reading books from the perspective of children and hearing what they would do. It's usually different from what I would do.

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Post by Ricky 7 » 02 Dec 2018, 07:28

An adventure work, is really one my very liked themes. The move of being and working together even in hostile conditions no matter what, is what forces me to have this book in my must read library. No lots of mistakes brings it even more closer. This is a must... Thanks for the good review.

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Post by TJanowski23 » 02 Dec 2018, 12:34

Thanks for the review. I was hoping that it would be appropriate for my 5th grader but from your review I see it's more for young adults. Maybe in a few years. Thanks.

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Post by Sakilunamermaid » 02 Dec 2018, 14:13

I love that the protagonists are actual children and I love the added details of learning skills and time travel being used to progress the story/ enhance the adventure. It feels a little Night at the Museum, I enjoy that bit of whimsy. Its good that its not all fun and games that there is some danger to ground the story and show the gravity/ reality of such a situation.

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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Dec 2018, 16:15

This sounds like a nice young adult adventure. I'm curious about the soul that's trapped. Where is it from? How did it get there? Guess I'll have to read to find out. Thanks.
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Post by T_stone » 03 Dec 2018, 16:34

Seeing the title, I felt it won't be suitable for children. But, as I read your review further, I discovered that it's very suitable for children. It's a good book with an interesting plot and good characterization. Thanks for the detailed summary.
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Post by Book Lover 35 » 04 Dec 2018, 01:44

This sounds like a great book. I like that it is full of action and is also educational. Great review!

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Post by Tamara24 » 04 Dec 2018, 21:22

The review seems good, it's really adventure plus thrill should be discription

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Post by Espie » 06 Dec 2018, 07:45

This book seems to take "putting learning into practice" into a whole new level. It's great how the characters were able to maximise whatever they've got to make a difference. Thank you for your interesting review.
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Post by lari03 » 18 Dec 2018, 08:41

Interesting review. Children are least likely to be fossil detectives in real life, so this book is a refreshing change from the norm. Adversity is an important teacher in the school of life because it pushes us to try new things, and to become better than we would be if otherwise left alone.

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Post by gali » 08 Jun 2019, 08:39

A sci-fi/fantasy tale revolving around the adventures of two kids in prehistoric times sounds exciting. The addition of educative elements, photographs, and illustrations enriches the tale. Good character development, simple language, and intriguing plot make it a good read for kids. That the book is well edited is another plus. Thank you for the review!
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Post by Amy+++ » 08 Jun 2019, 08:44

I was hooked with the action and the great detail. I am adding this to my shelves.

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Post by Theresam » 08 Jun 2019, 08:54

This sounds like a well-written action and adventure book. Thank you for the informative review.

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Post by MsTri » 08 Jun 2019, 08:54

I LOVE time travel books, especially when there are dinosaurs - not to mention hominids - involved. I also like that it seeks to educate. I look forward to reading this!

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