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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

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  22 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
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blogged
***** 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
Alex Barnhart
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lucy Long Ago by Catherine Thimmesh, I thought this book was very interesting.In this book they described how Lucy was buried for 3 million years, the gender how tall they were, and even how they got their name which to me was very interesting.
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Words, pictures, and text features come together in this nonfiction book to tell the story of how scientists discovered a skeleton and figured out where it fit within our current knowledge of the species. Catherine Thimmesh is an expert with storytelling within the nonfiction genre, having won many awards for previous books. In Lucy Long Ago: Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From, she uses questions as the headings for the different sections of the book, guiding the readers to think like ...more
Roger Bailey
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Christine Mccurley
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
Thimmesh, C. (2009). Lucy long ago. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science and the textbook
Where did we come from? This is a question we all have asked at some point in our lives. This book presents the finding and studies done of the fossils of Lucy. Readers will enjoy going along for the journey with the scientists. The journey of discovery is an easy one to follow since the book is in chronological order. While a table of c
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
This is a beautifully detailed and illustrated look into early human or human-like life, and was done nearly perfectly. The majority of the writing focusing of course on Lucy; the most famous of all fossil finds. The information was clear and used in tandem with extremely helpful images. This would be a fantastic addition to any middle/high school classroom covering evolution and human origin. My only negative was found in the last chapter where ridiculous questions were being presented:

And of
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Melissa Mcavoy
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jessica Freeman
This picturebook delicately approaches the story of the discovery of the legendary Lucy in Ethiopia and the recovery and interpretations of forty seven bones. This book who invites young readers to wonder what our ancestors were like. Thimmesh contains contributions from paleontologists, paleoanthropologists, archeologists, geologists, and geochronologists.

Ill: actual photographs, paint, ink
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.
Sep 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
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").
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Well done illustrations and use of actual pictures from the expedition. The scientific method and the processes of archaeology, geology, and other sciences involved are explained clearly and precisely. There is not too much text on the page to intimidate readers.
Aug 06, 2009 rated it liked it
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."
Jun 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
11/9/10 I liked it, but it had some inaccuracies that I thought were easily fixed.
Lucas Kolterman
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
I scanned this very interesting book for a project for my Biological Anthropology class. The images are great.
Jules Muntz
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