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My Daniel

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  415 ratings  ·  52 reviews
"All I want to find is one dinosaur," Daniel was saying. "And I'll find it right here. Like I do all my fossils." Wandering through the Natural History Museum with her grandchildren, Julia Creath feels the presence of her dead brother, Daniel, she remembers a time when fossil fever hit everyone, old and young -- a time when people would kill for those old bones under the g ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published April 15th 1991 by HarperCollins (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  415 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
When I was a kid, I absoultely loved this book. I still remember the range of emotions it brought out in me, and I remembered thinking that it would always be a favorite book of mine. Haven't read it in years, but it brings back good memories. ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rated it liked it
“Baptism in Mud and Memories”

Prairie girl Julie Creath adores her older brother, Daniel as a girl and beyond when she is a grandmother.. These two siblings enjoy a unique and intense bond of love as they are only surviving offspring of a Nebraska farm family. Despite living in a primitive soddy the plucky youth has grate dreams: to find a dinosaur skeleton and sell it for a small fortune—enough to save the family farm. Bones and Bravery are all he needs---although he does not factor in the dev
Jan 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-juv

Pam Conrad was a writer with such a superb voice - you knew her characters, you lived with them, went willingly on their journey after the first sentences wrapped around you. This story about siblings, about pursuing dreams, about honoring those you love and loved, is a wonderful read.
librarians - it has a girl on the cover but boys will respond as well to the story about Daniel, his passion for dinosaurs, a dinosaur dig, etc. (So often boys shrug off a book when they see a girl on the cover).
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is so beautifully eloquent! I just love it more every time I read it (about 5 times now). I use it every year to teach metaphor to my fifth graders. I am so gratified when they appreciate the fine, fine writing and the beautiful imagery!
Melissa Snyder
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
I read this as a child and really enjoyed it, eventhough it kept making me cry.
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I teach gifted third graders using this text and have used it multiple years. It is a book that connects with kids at a deep level, and I always marvel to watch this happen. (Last year when 4th graders saw that 3rd graders were reading it, many of them exclaimed how much they loved this book.) It's a powerful book. Readers empathize with the heartbreak and loss of young Julia's family. They also delight in the humor of different subplots: a young boy misbehaving in a museum, a grandma who asks h ...more
Judy E.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a fine historical junior novel that focuses on a young girl who was part of the "dinosaur fever" that took place in the 1880s. Set in the Nebraska prairies, Julia and her older brother Daniel are fascinated by the newly discovered science of fossils and dinosaurs and become determined to find bones on their own farm. The elderly Julia tells her story to her two grandchildren when she takes them to a natural history museum to see dinosaur skeletons. This way of presenting history is very ...more
Rachel B.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall, a sweet story about a sibling relationship - dreams and realities of living on the American prairie through the eyes of a young girl juxtaposed with her "current" storyline as a grandmother recounying her youth eith her grandchildren. There were some slow parts and some language that is now considered un-PC. ...more
After the first chapter, I wondered if I would finish this one, but My Daniel proved a satisfying read. I would say it is a bit raw. The story is told by an aging grandmother, not the cute, cookie baking, sweater knitting grandmother I've come to expect, but a cigarette rolling, shoe removing, museum rule breaking grandmother. It's a serious story and exciting. I highly recommend it. ...more
Hanne T
Oh man I haven't read sonlight style historical fiction in so long

Things Liked-
-oh man I didn't expect for it to be so dramatic + exciting??
-also I work in a museum so yay relatable!

Things Disliked-
-the flashbacks were kinda confusing? the story was good but it wasn't told the best
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Listened while on a road trip, interesting story.
Barry Joseph
Aug 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
What a dated piece of drek.
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: facing-your-past
A story within a story; poignant. Author could easily have left out the swearing.
Heather Hedderman
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
It was a thought provoking book. I think some students would find the two periods confusing.
Charlotte Howard
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this as a kid. It was sad but good. I still have it. I recommend it.
Cricket Muse
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Prairie stories abound of indomitable settlers trying to eke out a living in the endless ocean of grass and wind. My Daniel hints of the hardships and travail suffered on the Nebraska plains, yet the joy of the marvelous, enduring bond between brother and sister is the true story. And woven in with that story is a dinosaur and how it brought back memories to share with her grandchildren.
Historical value for the classroom, and an appreciation for Conrad’s wordsmithing.
This is a very good book. I like Pam Conrad's work. I enjoyed this story BUT, again, I don't think this book is suitable for 3rd/4th graders. The book deals with death, loss, old age etc. There is a lot of death in this book - babies, a young man, an old man, and there's even a murder. There's also talk of slavery, sexual slavery, and treachery. Most of this stuff will go over a young child's head, but it's pretty heavy. This is My Antonia meets the Color Purple at a dinosaur dig. ...more
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Except for the very end, this was a wonderful story of the relationship of a sister and brother in 1870 Nebraska. As a grandma, the sister tells about her experiences with her beloved brother Daniel and how they found dinosaur bones. A few incidents were not quite believable, but worth the read anyway.
Mariela Patino
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
My Daniel is an emotional story narrated on past and present stories that add interest to the overall story. Julia Creath and her grandchildren walk around a museum, while Julia tells her grandchildren the story about his dead brother Daniel. This book contains some interesting facts that touch on the drought on the Southern states during the late 1800’s and Nebraska’s rich fossil heritage.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it liked it
this book was good, I probably should give it four stars but I wasn't really that interested in the bone wars and there were a few things in this book that was just weird.

It was neat because this book is about an interesting subject but I didn't like it as much as other books I've read. It's a nice easy read and that's the main reason I read it.
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Loved Pam Conrad in junior high, and I think I could still read and enjoy this book and Stonewords, her ghost story. Emotional, intense, touching . . . (and Stonewords is CREEPY). Really simple young-adult literature, but do-able for adults too.
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a very beautifully written book about a girl and her brother who find brontosaurus bones on their Nebraska farm. The story is told by the girl to her grandchildren when she has grown old. I loved it.
Barbara Lovejoy
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a heartwarming book. It is my 7th book from the Reading Promise Booklist. Once again I am grateful for this booklist as it has introduced me to some delightful books that I didn't know beforehand. ...more
Miss Amanda
gr 5-8

1880s, rural Nebraska. Julia tells her grandchildren about the summer that her older brother Daniel uncovered dinosaur bones and all the trouble it caused.

I read this book as a kid and remember really enjoying it.
Storm E. Rayne
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found it super boring. I had to read it in Language Arts and hated it. It has a good (ish) plot, but I really didn't like the follow through. but if you're into historical fiction, you might like it. ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
My kids were very interested in this story, and asked me to read it each night. It deals with very heavy themes of death, among others. I was surprised that I cried at the end. It was a good real aloud.
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of my favourite stories along with her 'Prairie Song'. Some kids have difficulty as the narrative switches from present to past. Evokes the mid western prairie life as 'Little House on the Prairie' did years ago. And the idea of dinosaur discovery is a great lead in for kids. So well written. ...more
Catherine  Mustread
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Ellie and Stevie visit the museum with their grandmother and hear a story about her brother's search for dinosaur bones on their Nebraska farm. ...more
Mar 13, 2010 rated it liked it
It has been quite a while since I read it, but something about the Nebraska countryside reminded me of My Antonia, believe it or not, only on a child's level. ...more
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Pam Conrad (1947-1996) was an author for children. Her book Our House: Stories of Levittown was a Newbery Medal finalist.

Ms. Conrad was born in New York City and graduated from the New School for Social Research.

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