Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Marvelous Michigan Month: The Disappearance of Dinosaur Sue

Wow, this month is just flying by!  I hope I'll get through all the books I have planned for Marvelous Michigan Month.  Whether I do or not, I think I'll make this a regular feature once a month.  It's good to be familiar with Michigan books for my jobs, and it's fun to share these books with a broader audience who might not otherwise find these wonderful works.

Today, I would like to tell you about the first in a series of mysteries for children, written by a very knowledgeable person.  This book is The Disappearance of Dinosaur Sue, the premiere book in PaleoJoe's Dinosaur Detective Club series by PaleoJoe (Paleontologist Joe Kchodl) and Wendy Caszatt-Allen.

Michigan connection: PaleoJoe is a Michigan author.
Checkouts: Coming soon to the charter school library
Typical reader: Elementary students interested in dinosaurs
Source: The author, when he visited the school/public library!

PaleoJoe holds a replica tooth of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Photo credit: the school/public library where I work.

Synopsis: Junior paleontologist Shelly Brooks, a lively, enthusiastic eleven-year-old, helps PaleoJoe investigate the disappearance of Dinosaur Sue from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.  Dinosaur Sue is the most complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found.

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars

This is a work of fiction, though PaleoJoe is a real paleontologist, and Dinosaur Sue really is the most complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found, and is really on display in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.  A lot of the facts about her in the book are true.  But she has never been stolen.

I had initially given this book a 4-star rating, but upon reflection, bumped it up to five stars.  This is a very readable, fun, informational story.  I'm happy that the protagonist is a girl interested in paleontology, even if she is a bit annoying.  And for a mystery, I liked it.  This, and the other four books in the series, will be great additions to the library collection.

PaleoJoe has been traveling across the state and the Midwest to schools and libraries, offering educational programs about paleontology and dinosaurs.  If you have the opportunity to take in one of his programs - or book one, if you work for a school or library - do so!  He is very informative, if fast-paced.  I learned a lot, ranging from how small a Tyrannosaurus rex's brain really was, to how "dinosaurs" are really only the ones that walked on land; pterodactyls were flying lizards, and plesiosaurs were aquatic lizards.  For more information about PaleoJoe, his work, and his programs, please visit his web site.


  1. This sounds like a great book! I've been fascinated with Sue since I was on a dinosaur dig shortly after she was confiscated by the government.

    1. That's really neat that you've been on a dig!