The summer before her junior year, paleontology geek Natalie Page lands a coveted internship at an Ice Age dig site near Austin, Texas. Natalie, who’s also a plus-size fashion blogger, depends on the retro style and persona she developed to shield herself from her former bullies, but vintage dresses and designer heels aren’t compatible with digging for fossils.
But nothing is going to dampen her spirit. She’s exactly where she wants to be, and gets to work with her hero, the host of the most popular paleontology podcast in the world. And then there’s Chase, the intern, who’s seriously cute, and Cody, a local boy who’d be even cuter if he were less of a grouch.
It’s a summer that promises to be about more than just mammoths.
Until it isn’t.
When Natalie’s paleontologist hero turns out to be anything but, and steals the credit for one of her accomplishments, she has to unearth the confidence she needs to stand out in a field dominated by men. To do this, she’ll have to let her true self shine, even if that means defying the rules and risking her life for the sake of a major discovery. While sifting through dirt, she finds more than fossilsshe finds out that she is truly awesome.
|Publisher:||Turner Publishing Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Jill Baguchinsky was the only kid in town who used to dress up as a Ghostbuster for Halloween. Jill lives in Florida, where she spends too much time on the Internet, sneaks off to Disney World whenever possible, and serves as secretary to her grumpy muses. Her first book, Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator, won the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
n Jill Baguchinsky’s Mammoth, Natalie Page, who’s been bullied before because of her weight, has two passions in life: vintage fashion and paleontology. Good grades and hard work get her an internship at a besieged archaeological site in Texas where she gets to work with cute boys and learn the skills that she hopes to make her future career. Natalie Page is a character I was rooting for throughout the pages of Mammoth even when she does things that are cringe-worthy or incite eye rolls. An element of being a fashionista is to always wear the proper attire for a given situation, right? So a dress and heels are not exactly appropriate for an archaeological orientation nor Chanel flats for a site tour. But we give her the benefit of the doubt because she’s a kid and we also realize that these things, like the shapewear she puts on each day, are part of her armor. This internship proves eye-opening for Natalie who discovers that her paleontologist hero actually has feet of clay and that not all cute boys are the same. Despite being smart, she does dumb and impetuous things. Traits of being a teenager? Probably. There are lots of details and action and I found the novel hard to put down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I especially appreciated that Natalie changed throughout the novel and came to worry less about her weight and more about who she was as a person and also that actions have consequences. I recommend Mammoth for readers who enjoy YA fiction with elements of romance, geekiness, science, fashion and self-awareness. I won a copy of Mammoth from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.
So, something people may not know about me is that my college degree was a Bachelor of Science in Education with Earth Science as my Major and Biology as my Minor. I have always been a bit obsessed with dinosaurs and fossils. The release of the original Jurassic Park movie, well the book first, coincided with when I was taking some classes that were about fossils and such, and really got me very excited in being a paleontologist or something similar. My family could tell how much I loved it, and so for my college graduation they paid for me to go work on a real dinosaur dig in Montana through the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew that I HAD to have it! And from the very first time I picked it up, I wasn't disappointed at all! I immediately started geeking out over all the dinosaur and other paleontology stuff the first time I picked it up. It wasn't just the science stuff though, I felt a kinship with the main character, Natalie, and her weight issues. Although from theh very start I did wonder how in the world she thought she would be wearing her fashionable clothing on a fossil dig internship. Unlike Natalie, I'm still a fan of dinosaurs more than prehistoric mammals, but really I love them all. I loved how she mentioned the bone licking test, I remember showing it to my students whenever I taught about fossils in the past. There was so much other great science in it, and so many neat things about how a museum might work with the fossils and specimens. There was all the teenage peer pressure as part of the story, and while I know there were things that I would never have let sway me, I get that some of it was needed to add the drama and conflict in the story. The lawsuit in the book was very realistic in that there have been cases so close to what was part of this story. I mean a lot of people have heard of Tyrannosaur Sue, but do they know the whole story behind where she came from? And then there was the stealing of credit, done by Dr. Carter, who had been Natalie's idol. Again, a realistic part of any field, including science. Such a great book. Made me want to go back and work on a dinosaur dig again some day myself. Great book!
Although I'm not usually a big reader of YA contemporary, after reading the blurb for Mammoth, there's no way I could pass it up. I'm kind of a dino nerd - given there aren't dinosaurs in this book, but it was close enough for me. Let me say up front - if you have daughters or know girls who are interested in STEM, steer them toward this book. It strongly encourages girls to display their intelligence front and center, pursue their goals, and be themselves. After they read it, encourage them to make better choices than Natalie. She makes one bad decision after another and would frustrate me - but she's such a relatable, personable protagonist that I forgave her. In her defense, she has good intentions, and also owns up to everything. Nat's character arc is incredible, and she'll charm you from the first page. Mammoth also contains some standard tropes that are difficult to get away from in YA - a love triangle, a rich, mean girl, and an awesome guy who maybe really isn't, but all the supporting characters are well-written. If you're looking for a fresh, highly enjoyable read that also tackles some very relevant issues, Mammoth easily fills those requirements. Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.