If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge (Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards))

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9781426305993: If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge (Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards))
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What are the secrets of the ancient stone circle? Were the carefully placed stones a burial site, an ancient calendar, a place of Druid worship...or even a site of sacrifice? World-renowned archaeologist Mike Parker-Pearson has spent the last seven years on a quest to answer these and many other questions. In If Stones Could Speak, award-winning author Marc Aronson joins the research crew and records their efforts to crack Stonehenge’s secrets. National Geographic helped sponsor the Riverside archeological team’s mission, and now young readers can journey behind the scenes to experience this groundbreaking story first-hand, through the eyes of the experts.

Mike and his team have revolutionized our understanding of Stonehenge by exploring the surrounding landscape for clues about the stones -- an idea first suggested by a visitor from Madagascar. The results have been breathtaking: The team recently unearthed the largest Neolithic village ever found in England. Marc Aronson had total access to the site, the team, and their work over two seasons of digging and brings the inspirational story of the discoveries taking place at this World Historical Site to young readers. The informative and drama-driven text includes tales of dead bodies, cremations, feasting, and ancient rituals, as well as insights into the science of uncovering the ancien t past.

The expert text, stunning photography, and explanatory maps and illustrations will all help young readers see this ancient monument in totally new ways, and inspire future generations of archaeological explorers.

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About the Author:

Marc Aronson is an award-winning author and editor. He lives in Maplewood, NJ.

From School Library Journal:

Starred Review. Grade 5–8—This title is not just an examination of recent breakthroughs at Stonehenge, but rather an essay on the process of archaeology and a hopeful reminder to future archaeologists that all the great sites are not yet dug or fully understood. In 2005, the Riverside Project, led by Mike Parker Pearson, made several significant discoveries that placed Stonehenge within a much larger Neolithic complex. Pearson began with a hypothesis, suggested by a retired archaeologist from Madagascar, that, as in Madagascar, the stone of Stonehenge was to honor ancestors and the dead, and that there would be a sister complex made of wood for the living. This idea was radically different from the previously accepted theory of Stonehenge being used as a temple. The ongoing work of the Riverside Project has revised the long-accepted dates of when Stonehenge was built and found much to support Pearson's hypothesis. Aronson writes in a casual style and addresses readers directly, which effectively conveys the excitement of this research, although it does occasionally assume some background knowledge that seems unlikely. The story of how Pearson became involved in archaeology and came to work at Stonehenge gets nearly as much attention as the work currently being done there and underscores one of Aronson's central themes—that we are constantly adding to our understanding of the past. Large, colorful photographs complement the text and several shots capture what archaeology-in-progress looks like. A useful, attractive, and highly readable book.—Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VA
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