I recently read a fantastic book of fiction, The Death-Defying Pepper Roux. In it, the young Pepper Roux deposits himself into the lives of an unlikely mix of people,easily masquerading as a grizzled sea captain, a reporter, a drunken husband, a store clerk. How does he do it? Well, he theorizes,
"People see what they expect to see. Don't they?"
And this, is the theme of If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge. For decades - even centuries, people have assumed that 4,500-year-old, mysterious circle of stones on England's Salisbury Plain was an ancient temple - perhaps belonging to the Druids. Why did they think this? Because that is what they were told, and that is what they expected to see.
Fast forward to 1998, when lesser-known archaeologists, Mike Parker Pearson and Ramilsonia, suggested to the world that Stonehenge was not a place of the living, but rather a monument to the dead. Then later, in 2005, when Mike Parker Pearson's team uncovered Woodhenge, the circle of the living, a nearby wooden counterpart to Stonehenge, it was as if (to paraphrase the book) scholars living 4,000 years from now were studying a basketball hoop. Every famous professor and teacher is certain that the hoop and post are part of a complex religious ritual. Scores of books and studies have been written on the subject, when suddenly, a newcomer says, "Hey, did you notice that there is another hoop at the other end of the court? I think ancient people played games here."
This is the story told in If Stones Could Speak; it is more than the story of Stonehenge, how it was built and used (although that is covered in detail as well). It is rather a lesson that one should always look at a problem from all sides and be willing to accept new ideas and discard old ones. This 64-page book contains nine chapters that tell the story of Stonehenge, of scientific discoveries (both new and old), and of Mike Parker Pearson's Stonehenge Riverside Project. As expected in a National Geographic publication, the photos are excellent and numerous with detailed captions. Easy explanations are included for the processes of carbon dating and strontium analysis. Rounding out the story are maps, a brief encyclopedia of Stonehenge, a chronology of Stonehenge digs, a timeline, and suggestions for further reading.
This is a perfect choice for grades 5-8, particularly for research paper use. Also perfect for anyone interested in knowing more about Stonehenge, and the related Woodhenge, Southern Circle, Avenue, and Durrington Walls. All are connected in this fascinating new look at a very old topic.
The schedule for future Nonfiction Monday sites may be found at Picture Book of the Day. Thanks to
Anastasia Suen for coordinating Nonfiction Monday events.
- Sarah at In Need of Chocolate and I have two things in common today - we're both up early and have reviewed National Geographic titles. Enjoy her review of Prehistoric Mammals. Thanks!
- Abby the Librarian has reviewed two titles from Bearport's new Disaster Survivor series. A very timely post, as sadly, there have been quite a few of these lately. Check out her reviews of Leveled by an Earthquake and Erased by a Tornado at Abby (the) Librarian.
- Charlotte's Library reviews The Humblebeee Hunter (love the title!), an account of the great bumblebee count, "inspired by the life and experiments of Charles Darwin and his family."
- The Wild About Writing Trio offers a review of Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow: A Compost Story - another timely topic with Earth Day right around the corner. Thanks!
- Doret, of the Happy Nappy Bookseller offers another NG title, Oceans by Johnna Rizzo. 450-pound jellyfish! Yikes!
- The Jean Little Library offers reviews on a selection of Earth Day offerings.
- Calling all science teachers! Check out SimplyScience for a review of (and activities for) Cocci, Spirilla, & Other Bacteria.
- National Library Week, National Poetry Month, and Math Awareness Month too! Who knew? Michelle Markel's Cat and the Fiddle offers an interview with Loreen Leedy, author of Missing Math: A Number Mystery.
- The creative minds at Bookends have reviewed Bulu: African Wonder Dog, who sounds so much more likeable than my own Jack Russell-in-laws.
- Robin at The Book Nosher contributes a thoughtful post on Elizabeth Partridge's Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow Weary, a powerful look at the role of children and teens in the lead-up to the landmark march from Selma to Montgomery.
- Biblio File's Jennie, "coffee addict, torch singer, and librarian ninja," (love it!) adds Smile to our list - a graphic memoir of "growing up and the pain of crappy friends and first crushes and the 1989 San Fransisco earthquake... and a really gross (but wonderfully told) story of dental drama/trauma."
- Spring - a wonderful time to enjoy nature! Enjoy and Embrace Learning offers a review of a nature-themed alphabet book, ABC's Naturally: A Child's Guide to the Alphabet through Nature.
- Author, comic, and "certified nut," Helaine Becker, offers "The Top Ten Funniest Words in the English Language." Thanks for the laugh, Helaine. Visit her blog Track and Display Changes.
- Wrapped in Foil is "Bursting with Poetry" and some beautiful photos, too!
- Language, Literacy, Love offer suggstions for teaching Fiction vs. Non-Fiction.
- Sally Apokedak's Whispers of Dawn contains a review of Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa. Mary Kingsley was a British explorer, about, whom I must confess, I know nothing. That's why I love Non-Fiction Monday! Always something new to learn.
- Author and librarian, Wendie Old, of Wendie's Wanderings offers an artistic review of Nature's Paintbox: A Seasonal Galley of Art and Verse, another timely review for National Poetry Month.
Thanks for hosting. If Stones Could Speak sounds fascinating! I've reviewed National Geographic Prehistoric Mammals. http://inneedofchocolate.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/non-fiction-monday-prehistoric-mammals/ReplyDelete
At Abby the Librarian I'm reviewing two books from Bearport's Disaster Survivors series - http://abbylibrarian.blogspot.com/2010/04/nonfiction-monday-disaster-survivors.htmlReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting!
That sounds like a fascinating book!ReplyDelete
I myself have The Humblebee Hunter, by Deborah Hopkinson, at http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com/2010/04/humblebee-hunter-inspired-by-life-and.html
This week at the Wild About Nature blog, we have a review of Garbage Helps our Garden Grow: A Compost Story. This is the second review in our series celebrating Earth Day.ReplyDelete
If Stones Could Speak sounds fascinating. Thanks for hosting this week!
Oceans by Johnna Rizzo - its also a National Geographic titleReplyDelete
Thanks so much for getting up early and hosting
If Stones Could Speak sounds like something adults would enjoy as well.
I have a selection of Earth Day materials from HarperCollins, about which I am not overly enthusiastic, just to be honest up front.ReplyDelete
I have Cocci, Spirilla, and Other Bacteria at SimplyScience. I'll have to check out If Stones Could Speak. It looks interesting. Thank you for hosting!ReplyDelete
To celebrate Math Awareness Month, The Cat & The Fiddle has an interiew with author Loreen Leedy. She talks about the creation of MISSING MATH.ReplyDelete
Bookends@http://bookends.booklistonline.com/ has a review of Bulu: African Wonder Dog by Dick Houston. Thanks for hosting today.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for hosting. Today I have a review of Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge.ReplyDelete
I'm in with a review of the graphic memoir, Smile.ReplyDelete
I've reviewed ABCs Naturally, a photo essay of the alphabet. Perfect for spring changes. Thanks for hosting.ReplyDelete
I'm on tap today with a look at words - funny words, to be precise. As a writer of humorous non-fiction, and a silly, loud-mouthed gal, I'm naturally always on the lookout for words and phrases that tickle the old funnybone. I'm looking for contributions - your own fave funny words - so please take a peek and leave a comment.ReplyDelete
I am simply bursting with spring fever today in a poetry-inspired post
Thanks for hosting
Thanks for hosting.ReplyDelete
I have an activity for teaching students to recognize the difference between fiction and non-fiction books.
The Stonehenge book sounds very good. I'm definitely going to look for it.ReplyDelete
Today at Whispers of Dawn, I posted on Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa, written and illustrated by Don Brown.
Thanks for hosting this week!
I'm exploring poetry and art over at Wendie's Wanderings, today, with Nature's Paintbox, a Seasonal Gallery of Art and Verse by Patricia Thomas.ReplyDelete