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Earl Douglass was a teenager when he first heard about the Bone Wars—the frenzied race between paleontologists to unearth and classify dinosaur fossils—and he remained fascinated with these prehistoric giants for the rest of his life As a geologist and botanist working at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Douglass had a hunch that the vast untouched rock strata in northeastern Utah just may have been a haven for Jurassic fossil beds In 1908 he set out by mule team to the Uinta Basin to dig and discover Find me something big Andrew Carnegie instructedLittle did Carnegie know exactly how well Douglass would heed those words Sixteen years and 350 tons of fossils later Earl Douglass emerged as one of the most prolific and successful dinosaur hunters of his timeUsing entries directly from Douglass's diary along with her own evocative storytelling and artwork acclaimed author and illustrator Deborah Kogan Ray paints the life of this adventurous bone hunter in memorable detail Dinosaur Mountain is a 2011 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year and a 2011 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book


10 thoughts on “Dinosaur Mountain

  1. says:

    This book is superb in every way The illustrations and maps and photo and diary entries too are wonderful; the information is given clearly and in detail and in an interesting manner and at the end there are drawing and details about the dinosaurs discovered by these paleontologists in the UtahColoradoWyoming area during this era in particular the Jurassic dinosaurs of the National Monument uarry Stellar jobThe late 1860s “Bone Wars” are made to sound so exciting here Paleontologists trying to discover dinosaur fossils especially something big well what an exciting era The story of two of these men is covered as well as much general information including natural history museums of the era Today’s Dinosaur National Monument’s history and how it came to be is covered Makes me want to go thereThe maps and drawings and illustrations here are spectacular rivaling this author illustrator’s best They’re all particularly greatThis is an excellent book for studying dinosaurs fossils the 3 main periods when dinosaurs lived the discovery period of the late 1860s paleontology and paleontologists’ work and any related study subjects The ancillary material in the book is fabulous and at the end there is a wonderful author’s note additional information about Earl Douglass and Andrew Carnegie a glossary and a bibliographyThis book is exciting; its account reads like a suspenseful mystery all the while it’s covering history and natural history Dinosaur lovers will adore it I’m not a dinosaur fanatic but this book further sparked the interest I already had5 full stars One of Deborah Kogan Ray's very best books and that's saying a great deal


  2. says:

    45 STARSThe view we are now getting of the past by discovery of fossil animals and plants makes the present world ever new to us a little window for a world of imagination Earl DouglassThis book begins with an introduction to the Bone Wars of the latter part of the 1800s in which the country's most famous paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsch battled it out to find the best dinosaur fossils In their uest for glory Cope classified and named fifty six different species of dinosaurs and Marsh is credited with sixty eight However they sometimes stooped to underhanded methods such as spying and bribery or hijacking fossil shipments and failed to properly document some fossils so that the skeletons sometimes had the wrong head on the wrong body etc Still their creations helped fuel the dino mania and when Andrew Carnegie was drawn into the craze he built a huge exhibit hall at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh PA and sent Earl Douglass into Utah in 1907 to find him something bigThe heart of the story is Douglass whose unassuming passion for true discovery as opposed to personal glory is certainly endearing How cute is that photo of him on the back cover next to his famous discoveries? The repeated hardships the long days of searching without reward and the long winter he spent in canvas lean tos with his wife and baby son convey the dedication he had to his work On August 17 1909 he found an almost complete skeleton of Apatosaurus one of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam the earth Yes Mr Carnegie he found something big My enjoyment of this book was heightened because like many kids I was obsessed with dinosaurs in my youth I still have a lingering fascination and fondness for the subject so this book couldn't help but delight Ray includes so many details in her story and the accompanying illustrations uotes and maps This might not be the best introduction to dinosaurs or paleontology for young kids but for older children or adults interested in the early days of dino discovery this is highly recommendedAs a little aside I was fortunate enough to fulfill my childhood dream when my family visited Dinosaur National Monument and I was able to see the uarry where so many over 1500 dinosaur bones are scattered in the rock face exactly as they were deposited in the Jurassic period It was truly an amazing place I was saddened to learn in Kogan Ray's afterward that the uarry Visitor's Center was closed in 2006 due to safety hazards I checked the website and it is scheduled to reopen this October I hope that is the case and that many young and young at heart dino enthusiasts will again be able to experience this remarkable place and marvel as Douglass and countless others have done through the past one hundred and two years For another stellar book about the early days of dinosaur discovery readers might want to check out The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins An Illuminating History of Mr Waterhouse Hawkins Artist and Lecturer or one of the many picture book biographies of Mary Anning


  3. says:

    Deborah Kogan Ray whose many excellent picture book biographies include such titles as Wanda Gág The Girl Who Lived to Draw To Go Singing Through the World The Childhood of Pablo Neruda and Down the Colorado John Wesley Powell the One Armed Explorer turns her attention to the late 19th early 20th century Bone Wars in Dinosaur Mountain setting out the story of paleontologist Earl Douglass who at the behest of Andrew Carnegie began one of the most extensive and fruitful dinosaur digs in Utah's Uinta Basin beginning in 1909 After introducing the Bone Wars begun by that infamous rivalry between Edward Cope and Othniel Marsh Ray moves on to a discussion of Douglass' many extraordinary finds and concludes with the eventual transformation of his dig area into Dinosaur National MonumentInformative and entertaining all at once Dinosaur Mountain benefits from its subject matter which cannot help but fascinate most young readers are there kids who don't love dinosaurs? and from its well written text which builds excitement as it moves along When Douglass uncovers that perfect dinosaur spine it's a thrilling moment uotes from Earl Douglass' journal are included in little side bars alongside the main text and give a intimate sense of the man and his work The artwork done is sepia tones that perfectly suit the period and place depicts Douglass and his activities and also diagrams various things tools used strata of rock mentioned in the text All in all an excellent work of non fiction for the picture book set Recommended to all young dinosaur lovers and to kids interested in the history of the Bone Wars


  4. says:

    I am surprised how compelling this account is of events in which I have little overt interest Deborah Kogan Ray not only tells the history of dinosaur bone seeking in the American West she has painted richly colored illustrations and included lots of value added content uotations from primary sources a glossary anatomical drawings a timeline and other informative aids Teachers in the classroom will find this book useful in capitalizing on children's natural interest in a dinosaur unit or a unit on the West The Lexile measure is NC1140L so not for the beginning reader


  5. says:

    50 States book for Utah True story of paleontologist sin the 1900s discovering dinosaur bones in Utah


  6. says:

    Ok now I'm really itching to take a trip to Dinosaur National Monument to see all those Jurassic fossils all piled up Just like bone hunter Earl Douglass and Deborah Kogan Ray


  7. says:

    5 June 2010 DINOSAUR MOUNTAIN DIGGING INTO THE JURASSIC AGE by Deborah Kogan Ray Frances Foster BooksFarrar Straus Giroux April 2010 40p ISBN 978 0 374 31789 8 I know that lives are at stakeYours and mine and our descendents in timeThere's so much to gain and so much to loseEveryone of us has to choose now Congressman John Hall Power I read the daily reports on the current ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and I think about how it is going to take the Best and the Brightest of this and the next couple of generations to possibly mitigate the catastrophic and interrelated environmental problems that continue to stack up around and above our planet like a house of cards Unfortunately it's the only house we've all got the only hand we're being dealt and we either address these problems in a serious manner pronto or the game is going to be over We need exceptional science curriculums in our schools and we need to persuade lots of our most talented young people that science is an exciting frontier awaiting them We also need great books like DINOSAUR MOUNTAIN DIGGING INTO THE JURASSIC AGE DINOSAUR MOUNTAIN the story of Earl Douglass' discovery a century ago of a mother lode of dinosaur bones in eastern Utah is science and biography writing for children at its finest You have the excitement of finding seventy foot long dinosaur skeletons You have the danger of working with TNT living in tents in the middle of nowhere and sometimes working in temperatures of forty degrees below zero You have great explanations with accompanying illustrations of how the work of excavating and preserving these fragile bones was actually conducted And you have a great photo on the back cover of Earl Douglass I adore this photo He's in front of a wall of sandstone marked with grids with his hand on a bone that's almost as long as he is tall You look at this friendly guy with a sparkle in his eye and a hammer in his other hand and you can just imagine how cool it would have been to talk with a guy like this a rock star of bone hunters or how amazing it would be to actually be Earl Douglass He was a guy who so believed in his work that he was able to persuade the then President to preserve the rocks into which he was digging so that none of these priceless scientific treasures would be lost The area in which Douglass made all of his astounding discoveries eventually became a tiny corner of what is now the 210000 acre Dinosaur National Monument Then Douglass' benefactor Andrew Carnegie died and Douglass continued on with his work without pay for the next five years How alive he must have felt to work that hard with that sort of passion Author and illustrator Deborah Kogan Ray does an exceptional job of setting the stage for Douglass' discoveries by telling the story of the decades earlier rivalry that came to be known as the Bone Wars between paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh We read how Douglass learned from the mistakes of the earlier bone hunters by being methodical in his excavation and preservation procedures so as to insure that the right bones would be connected to each other when they were duplicated for assembly and viewing in natural history museums All of this storytelling is accomplished by the authorillustrator within a text that is sufficiently spare as to leave a full page of every spread free for unobstructed illustration There are sidebars that include entries from Douglass' journals End matter includes a two page spread on The Jurassic Dinosaurs of the Dinosaur National Monument uarry a two page spread on Dinosaur National Monument further biographical information on Douglass and Carnegie a glossary and a bibliography Just think of hiking in that area in late spring and imagining some of these giant bones lying just below the surface under your feet? Or in a wall over your shoulder? It is going to take a lot of imagination to solve the messes we've gotten ourselves into and this is exactly the sort of book that will feed young imaginations and inspire young scientistsRichie Partington MLISRichie's Picks


  8. says:

    Ray returns with another great picture book biography This time she turns her talents to the story of Earl Douglass and the “Bone Wars” of the turn of the century where paleontologists competed to find the big dinosaur skeletons Though the biggest finds had been made in Colorado and Wyoming Douglass followed his instincts and headed to northeastern Utah The book chronicles his discoveries as he worked the site through prose as well as excerpts from his personal letters It also tells of the problems with protecting the area and funding that Douglass faced later in his career and that culminated in Woodrow Wilson creating the Dinosaur National MonumentRay’s writing is an invitation to learn Filled with interesting and enticing facts she tells the story of the person as well as the accomplishments Children will love the details about how a dig site works and the excitement of the big finds They will also learn about the importance of doing what you love and following your gut instinct Ray’s art adds much to story from detailed explanations of Jurassic strata and paleontology tools to her larger paintings that tell the story of discovery Her large vistas bring the setting clearly to life too The book ends with a listing of the dinosaurs found at the site a map of the Monument information on Douglass and his benefactor Andrew Carnegie a glossary and a bibliography Highly recommended this book will be enjoyed by children who enjoy dinosaurs and history Ideal for reading before visiting the Dinosaur National Monument this book can also be used to inspire children to make their own discoveries about the world around them Appropriate for ages 7 10


  9. says:

    This is a wonderful book for students covering fossils or those fascinated with dinosaurs I learned so much about the trials and tribulations of an anthropologist and how the early Bone Wars were highly competitive and even dangerous for science


  10. says:

    NonfictionTwin Text Entry #1 This book tells a fantastic story about the life of the most successful dinosaur hunter during the period of time when everyone was fighting to find dinosaur bones It was a crazy age for paleontologists but Earl Douglass came out on top when he found his dinosaur mountain The author Deborah Kogan Ray uses her amazing diagrams to show the different types of tools Douglass and his crew would have used while excavating the bones as well as detailed illustrations to depict how life would have looked like during the Bone Wars This book goes hand in hand with The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley because they both inform readers about the stories of the discovery of dinosaurs in the very beginning Waterhouse Hawkins is mentioned in Dinosaur Mountain in the introduction when it is said than 165000 people from all over the world came to see the three story high skeleton assembled by British sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins 1 The story of Hawkins and his dinosaurs tell about his passion for sculpting them and truly bringing them to life This emphasis on imagination engages students and makes them create their own pictures of what they believe the dinosaurs would look like inside their own heads This is an essential step in helping students become good readers because they are connecting the pieces together and visualizing them in their heads