|Griffin and the dinosaur : how Adrienne Mayor discovered a fascinating link between myth and science|
Author: Aronson, Marc
Presents Mayor's discovery of a new kind of science--geomythology--where experts match myths and fossils.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 7.40
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 167504
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 11.40
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 63987
Common Core Standards
Grade 6 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 6.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 6.RI Craft & Structure
Grade 7 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 7.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 7.RI Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (03/15/14)
School Library Journal (03/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (06/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2014 In another forcefully written tribute to the thrill of archaeological discovery, Aronson, author of If Stones Could Speak (2010), retraces coauthor Mayor’s search for evidence to support the idea that griffins and other monsters in ancient Greek mythology were inspired by dinosaur fossils. That search begins in a library (what better place?) and leads through clues carefully gathered from art and folklore of the Greek islands, the remote gold fields of the ancient Scythians, and all the way to the justly renowned fossil beds of Mongolia’s Flaming Cliffs. Plenty of on-site sketches, photos of artifacts, and artist’s conceptions from Muller add dramatic visual elements to the tale, and the maps and resource lists at the end (not seen) will provide intrigued readers with avenues for further study of the tantalizing links “between,” as the subtitle puts it, “myth and science.” As a largely self-taught researcher, rather than a pure product of academe, Mayor also provides a model for Aronson’s liberating, if arguable, contention that “anyone can become an expert, it just takes being patient, observant, and curious.” - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2014 Gr 5–8—Aronson has come together with folklorist/historian Mayor to create this intriguing account of how ancient people conceived of the griffin. How did the ancients come to dream up these amazing creatures? Were they the result of creative minds? Or was there something in the environment that led people to believe in these phenomena, such as how the mythical Cyclops and water monsters bear great resemblance to the bones of ancient dinosaurs? In this work, Aronson describes the journey that Mayor embarked upon to discover if there is a connection between the legend of the griffin and scientific fact. Over the course of eight well-written chapters, information about Mayor's life and research unfolds, letting readers travel to the many countries she visited to conduct her work. From a very young age, Mayor sought answers to the same questions that would inspire her later in life. A complementary blend of photography and ancient artwork aid the readers' perception of the myths and science that are shared in this book. A solid addition about mythology, art, and science for most collections.—Katy Charles, Virgil Elementary School, Cortland, NY - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2014 Accompanying her fiancé Josh on his studies in Athens in the 1972, Adrienne Mayor took the opportunity to research ancient myths she had always found fascinating, and she noticed that early descriptions of monstrous beasts sounded more lifelike than later ones. Particularly intrigued by the depiction of griffins, Mayor pursued a personal theory that the classical image may have been based on imaginative mental reconstructions of fossilized bones of extinct animals, which would have been accessible to ancient storytellers. Largely self-taught in classical languages and paleontology, Mayor ultimately connected the griffin with the skeleton of protoceratops, earning scholarly respect and launching her own career as a researcher at Stanford University. The theme of tracking the factual underpinnings of folklore has much in common with Aronson’s earlier collaboration with Scott Reynolds Nelson on Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry (BCCB 2/08). This title, however, is somewhat padded, with reminders of Mayor’s shyness, prairie roots, and academic outsider status frequently interrupting the flow of her research process and discovery. The blend of fantasy-style paintings, color photos of artifacts and fossilized remains, and diagrams that re-imagine the beasts from reality into mythology give the book crossover appeal to dino and fantasy fans alike. An annotated map, combined glossary and index, and suggestions for further print an online reading are included. EB - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.