THE MYSTERY OF THE MAYA by Peter Lourie

THE MYSTERY OF THE MAYA

Uncovering the Lost City of Palenque
Age Range: 8 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

The beauty of the scenery, the mysteries of the Maya, and the dangers of the jungle combine to make this a fascinating story of discovery. Lourie’s (On the Trail of Sacagawea, not reviewed, etc.) visit to Palenque, an ancient Maya city in Mexico near the Guatemalan border, is described in informative and episodic text and wonderful photographs. Not only does he detail the work of the excavators and the mapping crew, but he also tells of the archaeological history of Palenque, relates some of the history and beliefs of the Maya people, journeys to a nearby village of modern Maya people, and relates his conversations with Moises, a native with a profound spiritual connection with the Maya. No book about the Maya would be complete without mentioning the flora and fauna of the jungle. From scorpions and a pet coatimundi to the howler monkeys and fer-de-lance snakes, the animals of the forest surrounded the archaeologists every day. Fighting the jungle plants is a major battle—the site is literally hidden in vegetation, much of which has destroyed the Maya buildings. Although the author’s visits with Moises may be a little over children’s heads, the rest of the text is broken into small pieces and engages the reader in the adventure that is archaeology. (glossary, index, author’s note, suggested reading) (Nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-56397-839-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2001




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