Many thousands of years ago, when a sheet of ice up to a mile thick began to let go of the land, the Atlantic Ocean flooded great valleys that had been scooped out by glaciers, and the salty waves of
Many thousands of years ago, when a sheet of ice up to a mile thick began to let go of the land, the Atlantic Ocean flooded great valleys that had been scooped out by glaciers, and the salty waves of an inland sea lapped the green hills of Vermont. Into this arm of the sea swam Charlotte. Her milky, smooth, muscled body sliced slowly through the water like scissors through silk. Like a chirping canary, her voice echoed across dark waters showing the way to her pod as belugas have done for millions of years. In 1849, a crew building a railroad through Charlotte, Vermont, dug up strange and beautiful bones in a farmer’s field. A local naturalist asked Louis Agassiz to help identify them, and the famous scientist concluded that the bones belonged to a beluga whale. But how could a whale’s skeleton have been buried so far from the ocean? The answer—that Lake Champlain had once been an arm of the sea—encouraged radical new thinking about geological time scales and animal evolution. Charlotte’s Bones is a haunting, science-based reconstruction of how Charlotte died 11,000 years ago in a tidal marsh, how the marsh became a field, how Charlotte found a second life as the Vermont state fossil, and what messages her bones whisper to us now about the fragility of life and our changing Earth.
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ERIN ROUNDS is a mom and a fourth-grade ELA and social studies teacher. A writer since grade school, she strives to teach her students to find and share their stories, because you never know what you might find when you dig deep and stop to observe what lies beneath. Charlotte’s Bones is her first published work. ALISON CARVER studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and biology at Oberlin College and Swansea University. She designs and illustrates publications, displays, and sets for ecological, theatrical, and historical organizations including the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, the New Jersey Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, and the Opera Festival of New Jersey. Charlotte’s Bones is her first full-color illustrated book project.
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A 2019 Moonbeam Children's Book Award Winner, Silver in the Non-Fiction — Picture Book Category