“Step 1: We Stand up”
In seven basic steps, Turner takes us through the human evolutionary process as supported by the fossils of various hominin species discovered all over the world.
While this nonfiction book is certainly packed with information and complicated species’ names, it is definitely not the dry textbook read its cover art may suggest. In fact, the author’s voice is friendly and knowledgeable with a sly humorous bent greatly aided by the footnotes. (Footnotes! Of all things to enjoy reading!!) From the humorous insight of the grizzly-polar bear offsprings’ fur being described as “a blush color, as if deeply embarrassed by being dubbed “pizzly” bears” to imaginations on what might have cause the world’s “first swear word.”
While human evolution may not be anyone’s first thought when it comes to a recreational “summer fun” read, the author’s enthusiasm and humor make this a surprising delight. You don’t even have to keep the species’ names straight to enjoy – though for those who want to, both the timeline and the Hominin Family list in the back of the book will be a great help in further linking everything together.
This intriguing nonfiction read is recommended for 5th grade to adult readers who might be interested in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology, or who just generally don’t mind reading the text in museum exhibits.