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A Bone from a Dry Sea [Turtleback]

Peter Dickinson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Turtleback, June 1995 --  
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Book Description

June 1995
Two parallel stories present a young prehistoric female who is instrumental in advancing her people and a modern-day girl who joins her father, a paleontologist, in discovering important fossil remains in Africa. Reprint. AB. NYT. SLJ. H.
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

PW's starred review commended the "gripping" narrative, in which scientific speculation, a feminist slant and a school of helpful dolphins coalesce in the tales of dual heroines born more than two million years apart. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

Dickinson (AK, etc.) returns to his native Africa for an imaginative look at humanity's dawn, postulating a male-dominated tribe of ape-like hominids who depend on the sea for food, have no tools, and communicate with calls that are not yet language. (In one of several scrupulous parenthetical explanations, Dickinson apologizes for the names he gives them as a fictional convenience.) ``Li'' has a genius surpassing Edison's: she not only invents useful devices (a net to catch minnows, a splint for a broken leg) but is the catalyst for changing the nature of tribal leadership so that ``it depend[s] less upon dominance and more upon consent.'' Young and female, Li lacks conventional power; what fascinates her is solving problems--especially how to get food in the coastal environment so persuasively described; and she's clever enough not to challenge authority but to bolster it in the most benign available leader. Meanwhile, in alternating chapters, modern anthropologists investigate the site, their scholarly pursuits and rivalries subtly echoing the earlier time. Each expertly crafted story builds to a suspenseful climax, but most intriguing is their eponymous link: a fragment of a dolphin's scapula found on what's now an arid upland site, with a hole that could only have been drilled by a not-quite-human hand. An engrossing portrayal of a gifted early hominid, less contrived, more convincing than--and a fascinating contrast to- -the ape with a transplanted human brain in Dickinson's Eva (1989). (Fiction. 11+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars maginatve topic June 8 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Vinny has convinced her mother to let her spend summer vacation with her father in Africa. Her father, Sam, is working in an archeological site in Africa without much success. Vinny comes and accidentaly matches a pair of broken skull and Dr. Hamiska, the leader of the site, begins to call her his lucky charm . Dr. Hamiska takes her to a site without much incident and Vinny finds something that wil change history and the world view of human evolution. Millions of years earlier, in the same place a small girl in-between ape and human begins to open her mind. She lives in a Sea-ape tribe accustomed to life on the beach. Her name is Li and gradually her mind is opening up to the world around her. A large current of problems makes the tribe look to her for help and her decision will forever change the future of humanity. A Bone From A Dry Sea is an interesting view into the world of paleontology and the cornerstone of evolution from ape to human. The author chose a unique way of writing by telling the story of these two girls in separate worlds by alternating chapters. Every chapter alternates between past and present. You begin to notice that what happens in the past world is repeated in the present. For example, a male begins to battle the dominant male for power and the same kind of battle for dominance occurs with Dr. Hamiska and Vinny's father. Which goes to show that some things never change.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Bone From A Dry Sea June 8 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A Bone From A Dry Sea Book Review This book changed completely the way I used to look at ancient civilations and the job of archeologists on searching for the unknown. A Bone From A Dry Sea is a novel by Peter Dickinson which include two related stories that happen at different times. One is about a little girl named Li who is the thinker of her people. Her uncle, Presh, was the leader of the tribe. One day the tribe was attacked and Presh was killed. Incidently, most of the tribe was killed due to a tsunami. Li took the leadership to lead them to a safe place. On the other hand, four million years later, the sea had dried. Vinny was visiting the site where her father worked searching for the fossil remains of our ancestors. There, she was considered their "lucky pet". This young girl found a bone and observed details which weren't even noticed by famous experts. Therefore, leading the team to infer outstanding discoveries and motivatig them to excavate more. This mysterious novel was very realistic and believable. Teenagers can relate to the characters. The story as pretty well developed, still leaving some information out to keep the mystery. It was hard to get bored, there was always something new happening. The first story was too descriptive and took pages to get excited. The ending solved all problems and uncovered mysteries, still leaving a thought in our mind, challenging the author to write a continuation in the future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Hard to put Down! June 2 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book is really good and makes you think about what might have been millions of years ago. This is a great book and everyone should read it
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Loved this book... hard to put down.
"A Bone Fromm A Dry Sea" tells the story of Vinny... and her ancient ancestor Li, who lived millions of years ago. Now, Vinny has found a shoulder blade... the blade of a dolphin that lived long ago
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a story about two girls, Li and Vinny, who live in two
very different times. The stories cross in that Vinny and
her father are working on an archeological dig at the site of the
inland sea that Li knew thousands of years before.
Anthor great story from Peter Dickinso
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORY is GREAT, October 18, 2002 Oct. 20 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book was great and people don't appreciate the topics stated in the book. Many people just skimmed through the book and found it horrible but if you read it for meaning, you will find the book to be very good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Bone From A Dry Sea Oct. 20 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had to read the book "A Bone From A Dry Sea" for school and since no one else in my group wanted to read it, I ended up reading it and loving it. The book tells about the adventures of "Li" a girl who lived in Africa 4 million years ago and the story also talks about the life of a girl named "Vinny" who discovers the remains of a dolphin's shoulder blade and who also discovered some of Li's life when she visited her father in Africa.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating view on evolution May 12 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A Bone From a Dry Sea is an overall good book. Allthough some parts were I admit a little boring the book brings up some very important topics. I felt I could relate to the present main charactor Vinny. Li was another question. Even though it was hard to relate to Li, I found the part of the book concerning her to be very interesting. The way Li thought and used trial and error was what kept the book interesting, that and the parts of Vinny getting to know her dad...
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