This little book is unusually thoughtful as a guide to collecting but diffuse and discouraging as a conceptual introduction -- in which role it unfortunately begins, although once committed to a stumper like the periodic chart (Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian. . .), the authors overlook nothing, even to noting that earlier sources may list ""different dates from the ones given here. As more work is done on dating rocks, the dates are changed."" Pretty stiff for third-graders -- and there are more likely choices for their slightly elders -- but on less formidable (i.e., pragmatic) problems (i.e., projects), such no-stone-unturned care will reap dividends. Three kinds of maps are differentiated, tools are discussed (where to buy, how to use them); if the site is on private property ""you should get permission from the owner before starting out."" Wear goggles ""to protect your eyes from flying chips"" and ""Be sure to carry some water and a snack""; stay on guard for pseudo-fossils (illustrated and described earlier), and learn to keep records and annotate finds, later clean and repair and exhibit them properly. Common fossils are pictured just before the bibliography (an impracticable round-up of standard texts), and a sturdy index concludes the handbook, a hobbyist's item worth having -- in tandem with someone to mediate between said hobbyist and the hard parts.