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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Dig: The Search For Dinosaurs is a nonfiction action book for children and preteens written by Stuart Plotkin. While he was not a professional dinosaur hunter, Plotkin had always been fascinated by the study of dinosaurs and dreamed of making his own discovery of a fabulous and rare specimen. After watching from the sidelines, he decided to get involved and signed up for a summer dig with Dr. Robert Bakker, whose book Dinosaur Heresies had led Plotkin to question just about everything he had believed about those ancient creatures. Being part of a dig would often prove to be far outside his comfort zone, but Plotkin’s drive to become part of the search for dinosaurs was something he couldn’t deny. With each dig, he expanded his knowledge and refined his experiences, ultimately finding his own special specimens.
Stuart Plotkin’s Dig: The Search For Dinosaurs will prove to be fascinating reading for anyone who’s ever been thrilled by the stories of paleontologists, their digs and their discoveries. While not in the target audience, I enjoyed his stories and appreciated how he never seemed to talk down to or patronize his young audience. Plotkin blends his own enthusiasm with a healthy dose of science and procedure as he shares how he turned a long-term interest into something that was so much more. His excitement and enthusiasm are infectious especially as he shares both the dramatic finds and the disappointing and silly mistakes that often happen even to the pros in the field. Plotkin begins his book with a capsule introduction to the study of dinosaurs as well as a glossary, and his appendices include discussion questions, a bibliography, links to relevant websites and even an assortment of dinosaur jokes. Dig: The Search For Dinosaurs is most highly recommended.