In which Miss Molly goes on the hunt for griffins.

Summer reading is upon us and there is a huge push for nonfiction reading in schools. I will admit, I have never been the biggest nonfic fan. BUT, this book might have changed my mind.

The Griffin and the Dinosaur How Adrienne Mayor Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science

by Marc Aronson


This nonfiction book describes the process Adrienne Mayor went through as she developed her theory, researched, and wrote about the link between myth and science. While in Greece, Adrienne was fascinated by researching myth. Coming from a family of observers, she wondered about how the Greeks created their stories, theorizing that the stories were based on observations of the natural world. She attempted to track down, document, and present to the world, the creature that the mythical Griffin was based on.

What I liked

This entire book.

Seriously, this is the book you give to people who say they hate nonfiction. It had mystery elements, deduction, scholarship, tracking down information in libraries without the use of the internet (gasp!). It really appealed to my inner Indiana Jones and librarian. I loved the look at how Adrienne went about her research, making mistakes and learning from them. It’s important for kids to see that learning, ideas, and progress is made through trial and error. You can’t be right all the time. Otherwise, how would we learn?

I should say that I used to be one of those nonfiction nonbelievers. I have never really considered myself a nonfiction person—always finding it dry and boring. Too much fact, not enough story. I often wondered how authors could take something so fascinating and turn it into dust.

This book is the exact opposite of that. It has a good combination of fact and anecdote. There are also some interesting images and pictures sprinkled throughout.

What I didn’t like

I wish it was longer. That’s about it.

With the increase in US standards focusing on nonfiction, this is a great way to get interested. Pick this book up. I know I will be more adventurous about my nonfiction choices from now on.


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