Mysterious Bones: The Story of Kennewick Man

Overview

This stunningly illustrated nonfiction account explores the 1996 discovery of the skeletal remains of Kennewick Man.
When two young men who were sneaking into a boat race accidentally uncovered a skeleton along a bank of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington, in 1996, they had no idea of the impact their discovery would have. The bones were those of one of the oldest and most complete skeletons ever recovered in this country and led to one of the most important ...

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Overview

This stunningly illustrated nonfiction account explores the 1996 discovery of the skeletal remains of Kennewick Man.
When two young men who were sneaking into a boat race accidentally uncovered a skeleton along a bank of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington, in 1996, they had no idea of the impact their discovery would have. The bones were those of one of the oldest and most complete skeletons ever recovered in this country and led to one of the most important archaeological controversies of modern times. Kennewick Man transformed long-held theories about the colonization of the Americas and sparked a nine-year battle pitting scientists against Native American tribes for control of the remains. Beautifully illustrated with drawings, diagrams, and maps, the book offers a fascinating look at forensic anthropology at its most exciting, describing the scientific methods used, the surprises revealed, and the unsolved mysteries that resulted from these discoveries. Time line, glossary, chapter notes, bibliography are included."







PAPERBACKS

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—This carefully researched, gracefully written, attractively formatted book explores the discovery of the 9000-year-old Paleoindian whose nearly complete skeletal remains caused an uproar in both scientific and Native American circles. Accompanied by superb gouache paintings done in warm ambers and golds with accents of black, the lucid text recounts the struggle of scientists to handle the bones and run specific DNA and carbon-dating experiments on them, all the while facing the outrage of Native American tribal groups envisioning another exploitation of ancestral remains. Lawsuits were set in motion under the auspices of the Native American Graves Protection and Reparation Act (NAGPRA) and the opposing sides battled for years before the scientists were given a moderate go-ahead to approach the bones in a monitored, respectful manner. Kirkpatrick's measured tones record the early findings preceding the lawsuits and speculates on what the recent testing might reveal, also presenting data from other Paleoindian discoveries. Stevenson's carefully detailed drawings echo the warmth of the dust jacket and keep perfect step with the informative pattern. Pair this title with Patricia Lauber's Who Came First?: New Clues to Prehistoric Americans (National Geographic, 2003) to fuel fascinating discussions on the prehistoric settlement of the Americas. A sterling work of scholarly quality.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Leis-Newman
In 1996, a young man found a human skull in Kennewick, Washington. Soon, police, search and rescue and a local archeologist discovered most of a skeleton. But no one was prepared for what the so-called Kennewick Man turned out to be, namely around 9,500 years old, making him one of the oldest and most intact skeletons found in the U.S. However, under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act signed in 1990 (in response to soldiers, medical personnel and the government regularly digging up Native American graves), the group of tribes in Washington claimed the Kennewick Man belonged to them. A series of lawsuits began over nine years over whether the skeleton could be buried, or made available for further study. The fundamental question at the heart of Kirkpatrick's book is whether the benefits of knowledge triumph over respect for tradition. She states up-front that her goal is to provoke a discussion, and she has painstakingly tried to be fair to all sides. While pictures of the Kennewick Man's remains can be seen online, Kirkpatrick opted out of including them, instead relying on Stevenson's excellent illustrations to make the facts come alive. Students will get the most out of the book's beginnings, sidebars and graphics, which include a narrative of how the local archeologist began his quest to study the Kennewick Man, how facial reconstruction works, and where other ancient skeletons in North America were found. The legal dispute becomes a bit too complex even for advanced readers, but Kirkpatrick's work is a welcome addition to the archeology genre for young adult readers. Don't be fooled by the format—the text is at a high level, making it a welcome addition to a middle- or high-school library. Reviewer: Elizabeth Leis-Newman
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—This carefully researched, gracefully written, attractively formatted book explores the discovery of the 9000-year-old Paleoindian whose nearly complete skeletal remains caused an uproar in both scientific and Native American circles. Accompanied by superb gouache paintings done in warm ambers and golds with accents of black, the lucid text recounts the struggle of scientists to handle the bones and run specific DNA and carbon-dating experiments on them, all the while facing the outrage of Native American tribal groups envisioning another exploitation of ancestral remains. Lawsuits were set in motion under the auspices of the Native American Graves Protection and Reparation Act (NAGPRA) and the opposing sides battled for years before the scientists were given a moderate go-ahead to approach the bones in a monitored, respectful manner. Kirkpatrick's measured tones record the early findings preceding the lawsuits and speculates on what the recent testing might reveal, also presenting data from other Paleoindian discoveries. Stevenson's carefully detailed drawings echo the warmth of the dust jacket and keep perfect step with the informative pattern. Pair this title with Patricia Lauber's Who Came First?: New Clues to Prehistoric Americans (National Geographic, 2003) to fuel fascinating discussions on the prehistoric settlement of the Americas. A sterling work of scholarly quality.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews

Unlike Piltdown Man or Nebraska Man, Kennewick Man was the real, hoary deal, and Kirkpatrick here introduces him to young readers.

He was found in remarkable condition near the Columbia River in Washington just 15 years ago, in 1996—one of the oldest and most complete skeletons found in America. Kirkpatrick first addresses the controversy surrounding the treatment of his remains. How to balance the benefits to knowledge the skeleton might reveal while also respecting customs and traditions that are at odds with tampering with ancestral bones? It took nine years in the courtroom before a judge decided Kennewick's bones could be tested; it was deemed that he was not a direct ancestor of any modern group. The author handles the other side of the story with equally unhurried thoughtfulness: what Kennewick Man tells us about himself. His mysteries are slowly uncovered—what he ate, why there was a spearhead lodged in his hip bone and what about that dent in his forehead, the nature of his landscape and lifestyle. There are plenty of questions left unanswered, like, who was this stranger? Polynesian or Ainnu or Jomon or...? How did he get here? Excellent illustrations accompany the story, with crisp line-drawings of tools, skeletons, maps and possible facial reconstructions.

A thoroughgoing but sprightly biography of a fascinating outlander in our midst. (glossary, timeline, bibliography, notes, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823421879
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/27/2011
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 697,721
  • Lexile: 1150L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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