October 20, 2017

Graphic-novel style book for children, Daring to Dig: Adventures of Women in American Paleontology just published by the Paleontological Research Institution

(ITHACA, NY) The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) is pleased to announce publication of a graphic-novel style book for children (target ages 8-12) titled Daring to Dig: Adventures of Women in American Paleontology, authored by Beth Stricker and illustrated by Alana McGillis. Women have played a critical role in the development of the science of paleontology in America, but for many years their accomplishments have been overshadowed by those of men. Daring to Dig highlights the adventures and research achievements of a dozen women paleontologists, both from the past century and active today. The challenges they faced—both societal and scientific—are explored through a series of colorfully illustrated vignettes, as are their successes in overcoming these challenges. This book shows children that paleontology is a science for everyone, and also introduces them to a variety of ancient organisms that are commonly missing from children's books about prehistoric life. Daring to Dig concludes with brief biographical sketches of each of the twelve women featured in the book, as well as a glossary of scientific terms. The ISBN number for Daring to Dig is: 978-0-87710-521-3; its retail price is $19.95. Daring to Dig may be ordered directly from PRI or through Amazon; for questions about ordering, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A recent positive review of Daring to Dig by Kirkus Reviews is presented below.

Kirkus review of Daring to Dig: Adventures of Women in American Paleontology

“A debut children’s book describes the contributions of women past and present to paleontology in the United States.

Most kids are fascinated by fossils, especially of dinosaurs, but they may not know about the female experts who have helped advance the science of paleontology. As the book acknowledges, most workers in this field have been men, mainly because “many men did not think women should have jobs, go to college, or become scientists.” Nevertheless, they persisted. From Annie Montague Alexander (1867-1950) through Phoebe Cohen (“alive and digging!”), this volume highlights some of the female paleontologists’ greatest exploits. Alexander, for example, discovered the fossilized bones of a prehistoric marine reptile in 1903; with her companion Louise Kellogg, she donated more than 20,000 specimens to the University of California. In her book, Stricker offers approachable chunks of information in a friendly, graphic-novel format, which succeeds in making the pursuit of science sound like an exciting adventure. Though the work is keyed to young readers, nothing is dumbed down, and the author carefully shows why the paleontologists’ achievements were significant. Debut illustrator McGillis’ highly appealing and informative images strongly support the text; the women’s personalities come alive and vivid details show historic and scientific context. About to flee Nazi Germany, a Jewish scientist, Tilly Edinger, reflects: “One way or the other, fossil vertebrates will save me.” She went on to found the field of paleoneurology.

Splendidly entertaining and informative—ideal for any kid interested in fossils.”

— Kirkus Reviews

About the Paleontological Research Institution

The Paleontological Research Institution pursues and integrates education and research, and interprets the history and systems of the Earth and its life, to increase knowledge, educate society, and encourage wise stewardship of the Earth. PRI, along with its two public venues, the Museum of the Earth and the Cayuga Nature Center, is an affiliate of Cornell University.


For more information, contact:
Jim Harper, PRI Marketing & Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (607) 273-6623 x115