Monday, November 28, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Cities of the Dead by Denise Rinaldo

Cities of the Dead: Finding Lost Civilizations
24/7 Science Behind the Scenes Mystery Files (series)
written by Denise Rinaldo
Scholastic, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-531-18739-5
Interest Level: Grades 3-6
Reviewed from copy borrowed from my school library.

BLURBThere's a legend about a great empire that was swallowed up by the sea. Another tale tells of a beautiful city that was buried under ash and falling rock. Did these civilizations ever really exist? And if so, can traces of them be found? That's where archeologists come in. From the harshest deserts to the deepest oceans, they search the world for lost civilizations.

Cities of the Dead provides a basic introduction to the field of archeology and some of the most famous sites that have been searched for and studied.  While not providing a lot of detail, Rinaldo discusses the interest in, search for, and study of the following sites: the City of Troy, the City of Pompeii, and the City of Vilcabamba.  Later in the book, she provides more detail about the searches for Ancient Ubar, Atlantis, and the lost civilization of Easter Island. Along the way, readers are introduced to vocabulary related to archeology, the various types of jobs related to archeology and brief descriptions of some of the people involved in the search and discovery of what are believed to have been the cities mentioned above.  I found it interesting that when she got to Vilcabamba, she writes about how interest was diverted from that city when Machu Picchu discovered.

This book would be good for readers who are interested in archeology or in the search for places of legend.  The book does not however provide a detailed explanation of what is required to become an archeologist or the details involved in searching for and studying ancient sites.  I found the part about using satellites to search for some of these sites.  Recommended.
Head on over to A Curious Thing for today's Nonfiction Monday.  You will find other great nonfiction reads for a younger audience. 


  1. Interesting, I'd recommend this to my archaeologist and anthropologist friends. :)

  2. It is a nice quick read. Thanks for stopping by.


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