Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past
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Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  50 reviews
In 1991, mountain climbers on the Niederjoch Glacier on the Italian-Austrian border came across something unexpected: a body. It had been a very warm summer, and five bodies had already turned up in the area. But something here was different. The materials found with the body suggested it might be very old, perhaps from the 1800s. But radiocarbon dating proved the iceman w...more
Hardcover, 58 pages
Published October 6th 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Melissa Mcavoy
Age Range: Grades 5-8

Retreating glaciers reveal preserved remains: bodies lost in ice. Deem focuses on three continents where retreating glaciers have uncovered a 5,000 year old murder victim, Inca children sacrificed 500 years ago, a body that helps to answer the question did Mallory reach the summit of Everest 30 years before Hillary and Norgay, and a North American mummy with DNA links to contemporary First Nations people. Climate change and the cycle of ice-ages is discussed.

Handsome design,...more
Q_Jill Burke
This book is fascinating. It is about how bodies and artifacts are beginning to appear as glaciers begin to recede. Even though the discoveries have been remarkable, scientists worry that the shrinking my be caused by global warming and as a result cause greater problems. The shrinking could also be the natural ice age cycle but we will only be able to tell when the cycle begins again in the future.

I was amazed by the frozen children of the Andes. They were selected to be sacrificed for the Gods...more
This is a book on the science of bodies preserved by freezing. Most such books concentrate on a specific case, but because this one is an overview of the general subject, it covers the "Ice Man" of Italy, mummies in South America, 20th century mountain climbers, and even a case from the Pacific Northwest that has interesting ramifications. These included both his relationship to modern First Nations folks, based on his DNA, and his tools, which included pieces of iron, but pre-dating known conta...more
I found this book interesting because tells about the people who have died in the ice mountains all around the globe. This book tells how children were sacrificed in the Inca mountains, to people fighting in war, probably in the stone age in the ice mountains of Italy and Austria. This book tells many acounts of people dieing in the ice. One of my favourite chapters were when the ice man of the alps Otzi was discovered. The scene took place when a couple, Erika and Helmut Simom climbed the Finai...more
3 3/4 stars.
Warming global temperatures have dramatically increased the melting of glaciers worldwide. Among the consequences, the melting results in the discovery of bodies long buried in ice…some of which have been covered for centuries. Some bodies have actually been mummified and provide great insights into early cultures. This book is the third in a “series” of books written by this author. "Bodies from the Ash" and "Bodies from the Bog" are the others.

Overall the design of the book is quit...more

Deem, James M. Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the past. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Print. ISBN 9780618800452. (58 pages).


"Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past by James Deem is an informational text with a combination of science and adventure. Deem presents seven chapters of page turning bodies found in melting glaciers. The riveting stories are fascinating and the photos breathtaking. The some stories include find...more
Bodies from the Ice is a very interesting book which recounts the life of many mountaineers who failed to attempt to climb glaciers. Scientists or even hikers have been falling upon these strange, well preserved people which could have dated some 3,500 years ago!! This book explains how scientists have analyzed the bodies found and could presume the age, gender and approximate date of death of the propel found. In the book it shows you some pictures of possibilities which could have led to the m...more
Erin Forson
Bodies From the Ice
by James M. Deem
Imagine you and your best friend hiking up the side of the snowy mountain. “Hey!” your best friend says, “I think I see something over there!” You look and see that yes, he is correct. There is something pink sticking up from the ice. What is that? You wonder. Imagine your horror as you come closer and see a finger poking up through the snow,'s a hand, now a whole try not to retch in disgust. That is how I felt reading this book, but I was al...more
Ms. Patterson
I was totally fascinated with BODIES FROM THE ICE, where we learn about some of the human remains that have been discovered with the melting of glaciers around the world. This book covers Otzi, the mummy from the Copper Age discovered in the Alps, the Incan mummy children found in the Andes, the remains of George Mallery found on Mt. Everest, and the body of a Native American discovered in a glacier in British Columbia. The underlying story of the melting glaciers around the world was brought to...more
April Helms
Good for older grade schoolers and middle schoolers, especially those interested in history and forensics. Boys will probably like it for the "ick" factor: there are a lot of pictures of mummies in this graphics-heavy book. Two of the more fascinating stories included the finding of Otzi, a 5000+ year old mummy found in the Alps, completely by chance. The other was kind of sad, haunting. In the Andes, where there were ancient Incan settlements, they found children sacrifices preserved in caves....more
I'm on a roll here with books about the cold.
In 1991 a couple mountain climbing in Italy came across what they thought was trash left behind by other travellers. Instead, the bundle turned out to be the body of a 5300 year old man. As the glaciers receed scientists are coming across many remains hidden in the ice for many years. The finds range from climbers in the Himalyas to mummies found in the Andes. The finds are giving us a deeper understanding of how our ancestors lived. But at what price...more
In Bodies from the Ice, James M. Deen explores how scientists are discovering information about past life on earth using skeletons and remains found near the surfaces of receding glaciers. One finding revealed the remains of a man who scientists believe lived over 5,300 years ago. This book covers various discoveries around the world and the information/answers these discoveries provided. Photographs, maps, and drawings help clarify information for the reader.
This is an extremely interesting boo...more
Sam Bloom
Well, I had to stop reading this during my lunches. The photos were just too much for me to handle as I ate my leftovers and/or sandwich each day - something about a mummified body just doesn't sit well with a granola bar, you know? Anyway, once I started separating this book from food, I really enjoyed it. The last chapter was very well-done; by the end of the book, the amazing photographs and stories of the bodies and how they were discovered will have totally hooked pretty much any kid. Then,...more
Araceli Esparza
I enjoyed this book, the subject was fascinating! Fun Facts about all things ice, snow and old!
Abby Johnson
Two tourists were hiking in the mountains between Austria and Italy when they saw something they thought was trash. It turned out to be a human body, preserved in the ice for over 5,000 years. As the world's glaciers continue to melt, more and more discoveries are being made. Artifacts and human remains that were lost long ago are coming back to the surface.

An interesting book for those interested in ancient history and exploration. Gruesome photos and the promise of dead bodies up the kid appea...more
I read this with a kid's relish, and especially liked how it draws the reader in right away with the drama of Utzi's discovery. If you were a disappointed kid when you finally got to see what an unwrapped mummy looked like, this is the book for you (now that's what I call preservation). (Don't read if you are squeamish.) I do wish Deem had gone more into the ethics of all this, especially in the section about Incan child sacrifices. Also, the tips at the end for "what you can do to preserve the...more
Great short read filled with fascinating information.
Marissa Garcia
Really solid, interesting non-fiction title.
Just randomly picked this up, wanting to read a short non-fiction. As glaciers melt (so rapidly in the past 50 years) bodies as old as 5,000 years old have been discovered. From Incan children sacrificed to volcanoes to failed attempts at Everest, bodies are everywhere! Most shocking part of the book--billions of people rely on glacial melting (slow and steady) to give them all of their fresh drinking water...when the alpine glaciers on mountains are gone in the NEXT 50 years (on every continent...more
Laura Cushing
Loved Faces from the Past from this author, so wanted to check out this book as well. Faces from the Past is a YA/Adult book, this one is more childrens/YA. Still enough factual material and fascinating pictures to make an interesting quick read for an adult.

The subject of ice bodies and the various types that can be found, what causes them to be preserved, and what role global warming plays in revealing them to modern humans is all covered here. Nice book!
I wasn't turned off by the focus on the environment in the end because it relates to possibly discovering more bodies as the glaciers melt away. I think this book will appeal to boys in a major way. As a mother I was heartbroken at the part where it talked about the children that were frozen alive as a sacrifice - frozen to death with their little toy llamas. I was fascinated by this book and I think that many of the students will be too.
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
The information (on Glacier melting, various cultural histories, the actual cases and bodies found in the past decades, etc.) is fascinating and Deem presents all in a non-overwhelming and clear way. A solid nonfiction for any kid who is not going to be deterred by some of the photographs of many bodies in various preserved conditions: from bleached bones, almost complete skeletons to sacrificial Inca children preserved in their entirety.
I started this book to take a break from all the fiction that I'm currently reading. 40 minutes later, I closed the cover on the book, reading from start to finish in one sitting. Fascinating account of the mummies and other human remains discovered as glaciers melt in areas all over the world. This book contains a wide variety of photographs, lithographs, maps and artwork to compliment the text.
I think that this book would be good for 4th - 6th graders. I think that this book would appeal to boys more than girls, but some girls would enjoy it as well. This would be a great book for a student who is curious about how people lived in the past, or those interested in mummies, or archaeology. This book was a Robert S. Sibert honor book in 2009.
This book was a fascinating look at frozen bodies discovered all over the world. From mummified children in the Andes mountains to lost hikers on Mount Everest the author tells riveting stories of bodies emerging from receding glaciers or being uncovered by archeological digs. Written for children but engaging enough for adults as well.
This one has been on my TBR list for a while. Too bad, because it's actually quite fascinating. Global warming has cause several glaciers to give up some secrets.

And ... you would never catch me being one of those people who climb the big mountains and have to cross barely frozen snow bridges and such. I DON'T LIKE THE COLD.
Mr. Hutchinson
An interesting book after we talked about Otzi the iceman in social studies class. I would have liked to have the book talk more about Otzi, but the main idea was recovering bodies from the ice, not just Otzi.

I did learn that the first people to try and recover Otzi did a careless job and actually damaged him with a mini jackhammer.
I found out the "latest" thinking on who was actually the first to top Mt. Everest. Based on the forensic information discovered on a dead body. Fascinating. Also more information on Otzi (the Ice Man) from the Alps. First they thought he was murdered. Then they thought he died of hypothermia. Now they KNOW he was murdered.
CREEPY NERD ALERT: I have always loved reading about archeology, especially when mummified bodies are involved. This book definitely succeeded in filling my tank for a while.

While I have heard about the Iceman of the Alps before, I enjoyed learning more about Peruvian mummies. A fascinating read.
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