Creepy and True Stories #3
Abrams Books for Young Readers, November 2021
208 pages, ages 10 and up
Have you ever wondered what lies beneath our feet? Bones have a story to tell—and not always a happy one.
Bones Unearthed!, book 3 of the Creepy and True series, investigates remarkable discoveries of skeletal remains and what they reveal about human civilization. Combining fascinating history with science, award-winning author Kerrie Logan Hollihan unearths the truth about famous bones by exploring forensic evidence, archaeology, anthropology, medicine, and folklore. Meticulously researched and respectful, yet light and humorous in tone, these cryptic tales of murder and mayhem span across cultures and millennia, covering everything from Aztec skull racks, the cannibals of Jamestown, and Benjamin Franklin’s basement boneyard, to frozen sailors in the Arctic and the centuries-long search for the body of King Richard III. From cemeteries to laboratories to excavation sites around the world, Bones Unearthed! digs deep into the graves of the dearly departed. For readers who can’t get enough of the macabre, this quirky nonfiction narrative will disturb and delight.
Includes color illustrations throughout, as well as endnotes, bibliography, and index.
Honors and Recognition
“Murder and mayhem from the annals of osteoarchaeology, with modern instances of cannibalism and like chewy topics on the side. Continuing her ventures into the more lurid corners of history and prehistory, Hollihan opens with the discovery and excavation of King Richard III’s hacked bones from beneath a modern parking lot and closes with the still-ongoing project of piecing together and identifying the jumbled skeletons of hundreds of servicemen who died in the bowels of the Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. … Solidly researched and, no bones about it, both eye- and mind-widening.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“This wide-ranging account examines some notable searches for and/or discoveries of human remains. These are more than bare-bones overviews; Hollihan draws on the work of archaeologists, geologists, biologists, historians, forensic anthropologists, and more as she provides context, background, and theories. Hollihan’s enthusiasm for her subject comes through in her detailed conversational text, which includes discussion of the hunt for King Richard III’s grave in England, the aftermath of two catastrophic nineteenth-century Indonesian volcanic eruptions, an ill-fated 1845 Arctic expedition, the Romanov deaths, to name a few cases. Lots of color photos and archival reproductions liven up the pages; sidebars expand on such topics as plate tectonics, cannibalism, and ‘What to Do If You Find Human Bones.’ Selected sources, related websites, and an index (not seen) are appended.” (The Horn Book)