Lucy Long Ago: Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From
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Lucy Long Ago: Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Illustrated in full color throughout with stunning compuer-generated artwork and with rare paleo photography, this story of scientific sleuthing invites us to wonder what our ancestors were like. From the discovery of Lucy's bones in Hadar, Ethiopia, to the process of recovering and interpreting them (a multidisciplinary approach with contributions from paleontologists, pa...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published May 18th 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published April 6th 2009)
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Abby Johnson
***** In clear, concise text, Catherine Thimmesh gives us the story of Lucy, an ancient hominid that may be an ancestor or relation to modern humans. The discovery of Lucy, the oldest most complete hominid skeleton that's been found so far, majorly changed the way scientists pictured the human "family tree". Thimmesh presents a sophisticated subject in an accessible way. Photos and illustrations add to the text and sidebars explain many of the ways that anthropologists study ancient bones to rev...more
Roger Bailey
Oct 30, 2011 Roger Bailey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Elementary school libraries.
I am not the target audience for this book. It is a book on the subject of paleoanthropology for children in elementary school and I earned my degree in biology years ago. I read it, though, because I am interested in the subject matter and expected just a quick and enjoyable read. Since I am interested in the subject matter I have read any number of books on this subject written for adults and for people who are actually studying anthropology for professional and academic reasons, so I did not...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Of course, I'd heard of Lucy before I read this book. But what amazed me was that her skeleton is the most complete fossil hominid ever found--about forty percent of a complete skeleton. We know of other species only by a few fragments of bones! I liked the way Thimmesh told the story of Lucy's discovery and what scientists subsequently learned. The book reads like a detective story, as she describes the methods different kinds of scientists use to extract information from the bones. At interval...more
Melissa Mcavoy
This is a very good, solid exploration of human evolution using the skeleton, known as Lucy, as a jumping off point. Clearly conveys that those remains revolutionized our understanding. Big brains did not proceed walking but followed from it. Evolution is less linear than had previously been thought. A glossary, Acknowledgements that speak to expert oversight, sources and websites and an index complete the book
J
Not the picture book I expected! Instead, it's a little history of Lucy--how she was found, how she was identified, and how she fits into our understanding of human evolution. The narrative is broken up into easily digestible bits so that young readers won't zone out, and there's lots of beautiful, yet relevant, photographs and artwork. The language is straightforward, but clear and precise--not condescending. The book is well-designed overall and includes a list of print and internet sources th...more
Eddie
On November 30, 1974, Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson made the discovery of a life time. The skeleton of a hominid that had lived on earth 3.2 million years ago. They affectionately named it "Lucy". Could this discovery ultimately help us determine where we came from?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think young readers will enjoy it as well. They will most certainly feel like they're on a scientific adventure.
Cassandra
Something has happened when each of my kids hit 7.5 -they became suddenly fascinated with the ideas of hominids. Kind of weird family tradition I suppose, but LUCY LONG AGO came along at the perfect time for my 7 and 9 year old. We first read Aliki's FOSSILS book then moved into LUCY. Very well done. I would give it an early target age than the publisher, who says 9-12.
Pamela
Lovely design, clear writing, and a great subject--deciphering the bones of "Lucy", our possible hominid ancestor. I just wish the definition of how scientists use the word "theory" had been a bit broader (I think science writers should do everything they can to dispel the notion that "evolution is only a theory").
Jennifer
Ah, this took me back to my undergrad years....

Lucy has always fascinated me. And this book explains a lot about anthropology in a fairly clear way. Certainly understandable to most middle schoolers.

Some of the illustrations were more CG than I would have liked, but oh well, they had to do something.
Annie
An engaging and approachable look at the 1974 discovery of Lucy, the 3.2 million year old Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, with just the right level of information for the targeted age group.
Lucas Kolterman
I thought this book was a very good book. I liked the part about the history and fossils. I really liked the part where the ancestor Lucy was the first. I thought this book was one of my best books.
Betsy
One Sentence Review: Every time Ms. Thimmesh writes a new book my heart goes pitter-pat, and this book was no exception with its fantastic length, great pictures, and superb research.
Lisa
Aug 06, 2009 Lisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: CapCh
Interesting, easy-to-read book about the 1974 discovery of and significance of the fossilized bones of 3 1/2 feet tall "Lucy."
Allison
I scanned this very interesting book for a project for my Biological Anthropology class. The images are great.
Liz
11/9/10 I liked it, but it had some inaccuracies that I thought were easily fixed.
Edward Sullivan
The origins of homo sapiens. Stunning!!!
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