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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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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
2.0 out of 5 stars My revew of Bone from a Dry Sea Nov. 21 1999
By Steven
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hi I'm Steven, I disliked this book for a number of reasons. It changed chapters to quickly, so it is hard to understand the life of Vinny and Li as a child growing up. Once you start to uderstand what Peter Dickenson is talking about, he changes the chapters, so it makes it very very coppy, and then you get annoyed becuase it keeps changing chapters, from Vinny's life to Li's life, then back to Vinny's and then Li's you get the picture. And Li changing evolution in about two years.(what I call the quicky evolution)Li shouldn't think she is so different, all that happened was the shark thing in the biginning of the book, and then the thing with the shell at the end. The Then story of the book ended really poorly, with she turned the rock with the shell. And the Now chapter cocentrated mostly on her relationship with her dad, and not digging for bones and more important stuff like that. Actually I thought the Now chapter ended much better than the Then chapter with Vinny finding the bone that Li had squished into the end of the book, to end the Now chapter. And that is my review of Bone from a Dry Sea By Steven H.
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4.0 out of 5 stars maginatve topic June 8 1998
By A Customer
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
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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1.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK WAS WORTH NOTHING BUT A PILE OF DUNG! May 24 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This Book was rely boring. I fell asleep after reading two pages. I will never sugjest this book to any one. Here is a list of what the book had. It had a sleeping pill along with the words. To go to sleep read this book. A horible description. Vinny never followed through on what happened. Li was ok but thear could have been a battle, instead of running away. This book could have a beter ending, like Dr. Hamiska geting killed by Watson. Anna May and Dad should have gotton married.
A summary of this book is: And then... He... yawn... was... yawn... fired... zzz...zzz...zzz...zzz I read it for a lit book and I hated it. My hole group did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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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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1.0 out of 5 stars You Liars...this books stinks!! May 24 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was poorly written. The relation between the two stories was minimal. The story was hard to follow, 'cause I can't read when I fall asleep from boredom. The descriptions gave me no pictures in my mind, Dr. Hamiska was a big blur, and I only got a picture of the heat, which I honestly don't CARE about. It was a real page turner...I was eager to finish the book, and get it over with. I wouldn't have read it if my teacher didn't assign it. My dog refused to eat the pages I ripped out, and seemed to, much like me, think the book stunk.
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