A Dinosaur Named Ruth

A Dinosaur Named Ruth
How Ruth Mason Discovered Fossils in Her Own Backyard
Written by Julia Lyon
Illustrated by Alexandra Bye
Published 2021

Ruth Mason grew up in South Dakota and has a fascination with the odd “rocks” she finds strewn around her family’s farm. She asks questions that no one can or will answer, but never stops looking and asking and writing letters trying to find out. Her perseverance pays off and she finally gets to enjoy people coming from near and far to discover the treasure trove of fossils there.

This is the second historical fiction I’ve read with illustrations by Alexandra Bye, and this one wows just as much. The attention to detail is fantastic – watching the fashions change through the years of Ruth’s life was one of my favorite touches. The colors are bright and the way that the dinosaurs “appear” in almost every scene make this is a book that kids want to look at over and over.

The author, Julia, also has a free teacher’s resource guide on her website. It includes discussion questions, a timeline, activities, and more. It’s a great resource for the classroom, but can also be used at home for fun or part of a homeschool unit study.

Great for ages 4+ and especially for anyone who loves dinosaurs. The back matter is particularly fascinating for the 6-12 year olds, but is enjoyable for all ages.

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