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The Bone Wars

The True Story of an Epic Battle to Find Dinosaur Fossils

Illustrated by Alexander Vidal
LIST PRICE $18.99

About The Book

Discover the true story of the race between two paleontologists to find the best dinosaur fossils in this fascinating, fast-paced nonfiction picture book. Who will win the Bone Wars?

Did you know that many of the dinosaur skeletons you see in museums are rooted in a scientific battle between two paleontologists? O. C. Marsh and Edward Cope met in 1863 and bonded over their shared love of fossils, becoming the best of friends…until the day Marsh discovered an error in Cope’s work, and the Bone Wars began!

Marsh and Cope stopped collaborating and started competing, excavating fossils as fast as they could, and trying to find the most important never-before-seen discoveries. They each wanted the biggest, best dinosaur bones. And fast! They used code names and disguises, they snooped and tricked, and did everything possible to keep their finds secret. The race was messy and there were many mistakes along the way, but in the end, Marsh and Cope discovered all kinds of new dinosaur skeletons to share with the world—fossils we still get to see today!

About The Author

Photo courtesy of the author

Jane Kurtz was born in Portland, Oregon, but spent most of her childhood in Ethiopia. Jane speaks about being an author at schools and conferences and helped start Ethiopia Reads (EthiopiaReads.org), a nonprofit that has opened the first libraries for children in Ethiopia. She is the author of many books for children, including What Do They Do with All that Poo?, illustrated by Allison Black; Do Kangaroos Wear Seat Belts?, illustrated by Jane Manning; Anna Was Here; Clara the Triumphant Rhinoceros, illustrated by Claire Messer; and the American Girl book Lanie.  

About The Illustrator

Originally from New Mexico, Alexander Vidal studied cultural anthropology and spent time living in Africa and Asia before starting his career in illustration. Travel, exploration, and a love of animals and wild spaces continue to drive the themes of his work. He is the illustrator of the board book So Many Feet; nonfiction family activity book I Love Birds!: 52 Ways to Wonder, Wander, and Explore Birds with Kids; and picture books Cougar Crossing!, Just You and Me, and The Bone Wars. He is a graduate of ArtCenter College of Design and lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

Awards and Honors

  • CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book

Resources and Downloads

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More books from this author: Jane Kurtz

More books from this illustrator: Alexander Vidal