Monday, October 6, 2008

Book Review: Bodies from the Ice

Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past by James M. Deem. (Grades 5-8).

In 1991 two tourists were hiking along the border between Austria and Italy when they saw something. They thought it might be trash left behind by a careless hiker, but upon closer examination they found it was a body. When archaeologists examined the body they discovered that it was 5,300 years old, the oldest frozen human mummy ever found.

Bodies from the Ice travels all around the world examining human remains that have been found as glaciers slowly melt. Child mummies were discovered in the Andes, missing explorers were discovered in the Himalayas, and a Native American body was discovered in Canada. More and more artifacts and remains are popping up as the glaciers disappear.

Bodies from the Ice also examines glaciers themselves and why they may be disappearing. Is it global warming or a natural warming trend? And is there anything we can do to slow their disappearance?

The text is accompanied by tons of photos and illustrations (including some rather gruesome photos of various mummies). This is a great introduction to glaciers and will appeal to budding archaeologists. The subject matter is such that it will be appealing for browsers and it's well-researched and completely suitable for reports.

Deem includes an extensive bibliography and illustration credits as well as a list of glaciers to visit, tips on helping the environment, and an index. Hand this one to fans of Scientists in the Field and Mysteries of the Mummy Kids.

Check out James M. Deem's website and you'll find that he has a couple of other similar books: Bodies from the Ash and Bodies from the Bog. I will certainly be looking for those!

Happy Nonfiction Monday!! Check out the round up over at Picture Book of the Day!