Older Than Dirt: A Wild but True History of Earth
Older Than Dirt: A Wild but True History of Earth

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Annotation: Provides a humorous, wild, true history of Earth.
Catalog Number: #150363
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 104 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-80503-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99612-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-80503-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99612-0
Dewey: 551.7
LCCN: 2016018643
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A groundhog and her worm sidekick offer a concise tour of the Earth's history from the Big Bang to climate change with a glimpse of the bleak, sun-dried future to come—all lightened by frequent humorous asides. Born of the partnership between geology professor Perfit (Univ. of Florida) and prolific graphic novelist Brown, this highly engaging overview briefly introduces a broad range of scientific topics in a vivid and accessible way, for example describing magma as "rock that is so hot that it's gooey, like chocolate fudge." Clear illustrations effectively complement the text, rendering the array of subjects memorable and easy to grasp: a cross section of an apple indicates the relative thinness of the Earth's basalt crust, while a plaid blanket hovering above the planet illustrates the effect on temperatures of excessive carbon dioxide. The groundhog is utterly endearing, and the worm is remarkably expressive considering the absence of limbs and most facial features. Readers will be entertained, informed, and inspired to learn more about whatever piques their curiosity, whether it is uranium, continental drift, glaciers, or one of the featured scientists, such as Marie Tharp. A lengthy bibliography and detailed source notes are an added bonus. A guaranteed hit with science lovers and a best bet for convincing skeptics that science is indeed a grand and exciting adventure. (Graphic nonfiction. 9-14)
Publishers Weekly
In the tradition of Larry Gonick-s The Cartoon History of the Universe, Brown (Drowned City) and geologist Perfit craft a simultaneously irreverent and informative comic that examines how Earth came to be. This grand tour of the planet is hosted by an affable and well-informed groundhog who introduces significant moments, key theories, and scientists, accompanied by an earthworm, who lobs easy questions and provides comic relief. -Radiation from the sun! Where-s my umbrella?- gasps the worm. -You already have one,- replies the groundhog. -It-s called the ozone layer.- Brown strips down unnecessary backgrounds and eliminates extraneous details to focus on exactly what needs to be depicted; one three-panel sequence, for example, follows India-s collision with Asia that created the Himalayas. Brown and Perfit recount Earth-s history mostly through dialogue, except during mini-biographies that explore the discoveries of specific scientists, such as Alfred Wegener, who first proposed the theory of continental drift. The groundhog and worm-s repartee results in a witty history of the planet that packs a remarkable amount of information into an engaging format. Ages 10-12. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
Gr 36To a wisecracking worm (and readers), a groundhog recaps in graphic panels the history of our planet from the big bang to the present, and beyond. It's a heavy dose of information, but along with the worm's interjections ("Basalt? Does that go with Ba-Pepper?"), Brown's informal drawings and diagrams effectively lighten the load. At times, though, things get a little too casual. An observation that continents "come and go like pizza deliveries" is obscure, and the statement that "Apples don't fall from trees but are drawn to the ground by gravity" is a difference without a distinction. Still, amid entertaining repartee, clear accounts of notable occurrences such as select extinction events ("Earth had a VERY BAD DAY!"), plus explanations of geologic processes such as continental drift, join side profiles (dubbed "Deep Time Comix") of notable geologists to impart a lucid, coherent picture of what our planet's been up to and how we found out. Back matter includes a geologic "clock," source notes, a generous bibliography, and a final graphic featurette that will fill readers in on human-caused climate change. VERDICT Despite a few bobbles, this is a worthy work of graphic nonfiction for earth science units.John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* In 100 fact-crammed but surprisingly zippy pages, nonfiction graphic novelist extraordinaire Brown covers 14 billion years of Earth's development. From the big bang to our planet's origin to landmass formation to the appearance of life, Brown and scientific consultant Perfit provide an astonishingly comprehensive overview and manage to humanize it with witty asides from the woodchuck and worm who serve as surrogate teacher and student, as well as quick visits with important historical scientists. Brown's art ose, easy lines but clear, vivid representations so strikes a necessary balance between friendly accessibility and accurate portrayal. Comics are not a form naturally inclined to delivery of hard facts, and the speed with which information is conveyed here doesn't make it ideal for, say, supporting a long-range science curriculum. But comics have always held a strong suit in high accessibility for young readers, and this could serve as a good beginning research source and will be a nifty opportunity for burgeoning geologists or anyone looking for a deeper way to explore the real world. A word of warning, though, that between climate change, gradual landmass upheavals, and the eventual cooking of the planet by the sun, things don't wrap up on a particularly hopeful note. Appended with three helpful illustrated diagrams and extensive source notes.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 6,115
Reading Level: 4.8
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.8 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 191050 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.5 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q71143
Lexile: GN730L

Almost 14.5 billion years ago, it all started with a BIG BANG and what began as a cloud of gas, dust, and rock eventually took shape and bloomed into a molten sphere. Battered by asteroid collisions, ice ages, and shifting tectonic plates, our fledgling planet finally pushed forth continents. But if you think the earth has calmed down since then--think again! Geological activity continues to sculpt the earth's landscape, sometimes with terrible consequences for its inhabitants: earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. In this one-of-a-kind, wild, but true history of Earth, the Sibert Honor medalist Don Brown takes on big concepts with humor and ease.


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