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A new twist on old ideas

28 May


Have you ever wondered where myths and legends come from? I don;t just mean where in the world, I mean, how the people who told stories about griffins and cyclops got the ideas in the first place. Adrienne Mayor has turned such musings into a career.

In The Griffin and the Dinosaur: How Adrienne Mayor  Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science by Marc Aronson, we get a picture of a dreamy young girl in South Dakota who spent a decade poring over old maps, hunting through myths, and following the work of dinosaur hunters to solve the mystery of the origin of the griffin and create a new science.

This might sound like a story as dry as the deserts of ancient Scythia, but it is not. Aronson unfolds the story like a mystery, complete with dead ends and a likable heroine. We travel from South Dakota to Greece, China and Mongolia. We read of griffins and cyclops and Indiana Jones.

Lovers of dinosaurs, mythology,and real life  adventure stories will find this book fascinating. Backmatter includes maps, a glossary,  and a bibliography.

I highly recommend this excellent book. I believe it is in the running for a 2015 Sibert Award.

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