Sally M. Walker followed forensic anthropologists, scientists and others as they uncovered gravesites in Jamestown and colonial Maryland to learn about their lives from what is Written In Bone (Carolrhoda, $22.95).Looking at the skull of an apprentice that had been discarded in a household trash pile, the scientists can tell that the apprentice had a raging toothache before he died. Other skeletons reveal (mal)nutrition, diseases, and injuries. This book contains insights into the scientific process and offers a compelling look at colonial America. Ages 10-14.
From the layout of the title page, which includes a facsimile of a newspaper headline announcing Lincoln’s assassination and Booth’s escape, to the final map of the route that John Wilkes Booth followed from Washington, D.C., to the Garrett farm in Virginia, Chasing Lincoln’s Killer (Scholastic, $16.99) sizzles. Follow the killers’ and the investigators’ every move, and the trial and eventual execution of the conspirators. James Swanson adapted his adult book, Manhunt, into an excellent non-fiction work for children, chock-full of photographs, quotes, and other primary sources in a text that is can’t-put-it-down exciting. Ages 10-14.
Thought it was all gorgeous long gowns, fancy food, handsome chain mail and chivalrous jousting matches? Well, Come To The Castle (Roaring Brook, $17.95) for Linda Ashman’s humorously realistic window into 13th century English life illuminated by S.D.Schindler. The food was rotten, though beautifully presented. Armor just as comfortable as one would expect. And the privies? Ages 5-9.