Monday 11 September 2017

The Bone Wars by Nicky Dee Book Review (read together or independently age 5+)

Nicky Dee is a Children's book author who we've become very fond of in our house. Working with Palaeontologist Dean R. Lomax, she has created a series of fascinating and factual Dinosaur Books - the What's So Special? series, and The Bone Wars; Clash Of The Dinosaur Hunters! (with illustrations by Ian Durneen) is her first venture into traditional story-telling.

The Bone Wars tells the tale of two of the most prominent dinosaur hunters - Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope. They were so determined to outdo each other that they were prepared to go to extreme lengths and forget the real reason why they were even there.

Lies, spying, destruction of irreplaceable fossils and media scandal is all in this story - and it's all true! It's actually stunning and really quite disheartening. Their argument has had an impact on palaeontology forever. It's not all bad news though, their determination did lead to many dinosaur discoveries, although I shan't tell you who is credited with the greatest number as that would spoil the story!

The language in The Bone Wars is easy for a 5 year old to understand and it's suitable for reading alone from around age 7+. There are humorous black and white line illustrations peppered throughout to break up the text and add to the understanding without being condescending. It works really well.

The story is fascinating and quite frustratingly sad, it certainly involves lessons for the rest of us. My boys really enjoyed listening to their Dad read them this one, as much as he enjoyed reading it. It's quick to read (I read it myself in under an hour), but opens plenty of discussion and teaches real history. not just names and dates.

The Bone Wars: Clash Of The Dinosaur Hunters is written by Nicky Dee and illustrated by Ian Durneen, has 90 pages plus epilogue pages and is available to buy now from Amazon rrp £6.99

You can find out loads about The Bone Wars, the palaeontologists and the dinosaurs they discovered on the Special Dinosaurs website, where you can also find out about Nicky Dee's other books and join the free What's So Special Club - to receive free weekly dinosaur emails with puzzles and quizzes.

The What's So Special? series of dinosaur books by Nicky Dee each talk about a single dinosaur. They give information in a way that makes it relevant to children, easy to understand and compare.

We've reviewed 4 of the books before - Stegosaurus and T-Rex and Megalosaurus and Diplodocus.

We were sent our copy of The Bone Wars for review.


  1. What a great sounding book. For little dinosaur fans this would be great. x

    1. It is a great story, I'm stunned they haven't made it into a film. It's like Indiana Jones meets The Odd Couple, but with a bit more disappointment and a lot more dinosaurs :D


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