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World-famous paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews, heralded as a real-life Indiana Jones, apparently had more lives than a cat. He once opined, "I can remember just ten times when I had really narrow escapes from death." Here, readers get a fascinating glimpse of his near-death experiences and all of his adventures in between. Raised in Wisconsin, Andrews was an avowed naturalist from an early age. He dabbled in hunting and, by the time he was in high school, he was considered a local taxidermy expert. After college, he journeyed to New York where he begged for a job at the American Museum of Natural History, offering to scrub the floors in exchange for a position. His hard work, intelligence, and tenacity soon paid off, and Andrews began a series of expeditions ranging from a whaling excursion in the Pacific Northwest to a government-intelligence mission in the Far East. His adventures culminated in a voyage to Mongolia, where he and his team stumbled across one of the biggest finds in paleontological history: The Flaming Cliffs of the Gobi Desert, a veritable treasure trove of dinosaur fossils. Readers will be riveted by Andrews's exploits, including being marooned on a deserted island and surviving a typhoon in Japan. The text is supplemented by a few small photos.-Kelly McGorray, Glenbard South High School Library, Glen Ellyn, IL
Posted March 3, 2010
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This book is perfect for budding adventurers, dinosaur hunters and archaeologists. It follows the life and times of paleontologist and explorer Roy Chapman Andrews. During the early part of the 20th century, Andrews finds dinosaur bones in the Mongolian desert, explores the tropics for rare animal species, and becomes one of the earliest scientists to study (rather than hunt) whales.
The book is written at a fairly high elementary school level - maybe strong 3rd grade readers and up. I'm reading the story to my first grader and finding myself modifying some of the language so he can understand better(ex: hanging jungle lianas becomes hanging jungle vines).
In addition to exploration and discovery, "Danger" introduces anthropology and cultural awareness when Chapman spends some time in a Mongolian ger (tent) while finding himself lost in the Gobi desert. My son particularly enjoyed hearing what the Mongolian's ate and how they were able to quickly collapse their ger, move to a new location, and pop it back up.
One of the stories is a little raw (Chapman's best friend dies in a boating accident), but all of them will appeal to a boys' imagination.
I highly recommended "Danger in the Desert".
Posted December 14, 2008
My son (10 years old) isn't a big reader but had a book report assignment for a biography. We had lots of trouble finding something engaging for him but this was such a great story of an interesting man who I had never heard of. My son was never even a big dinosaur lover when he was younger, but this is really the story of a man's life and we both learned a lot. He read this faster than anything else he's been asked to read this year! I think the publishers are doing a great job appealing to young boys for whom the fantasy fiction craze doesn't really work.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.