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New book: The Wild West in Paris

Another new book of mine will be coming out soon. It’s a young people’s version of a terrific book by Jill Jonnes called Eiffel’s Tower. The book tells how engineer Gustave Eiffel built his famous tower in Paris in spite of fierce attacks. Some critics thought the tower was a hideous monstrosity. Others feared it would fall over and crush their neighborhoods, or draw huge lightning bolts from the sky.

In the end, Eiffel just managed to get the tower finished in time for a grand World’s Fair in 1889. People from all over the world came to Paris for the fair–and to marvel at the Eiffel Tower, or even make the daring, adventurous trip to it top. Among them were Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley. Their Wild West show in Paris was almost as big a sensation as the tower itself.

Eiffel’s Tower is the story of Eiffel’s genius, his struggle to build the tower, and his later downfall. It’s also the story of how the Wild West captured the hearts of Parisians, and of the many colorful characters, including inventor Thomas Edison and the Shah of Persia, who met and mingled in Paris in the summer of 1889–a time when anything seemed possible. Whether you’re interested in building things or reading about the larger-than-life personalities of the day, I hope you’ll enjoy Eiffel’s Tower for Young People.

Discovering a new old favorite

Thanks to a recommendation from a friend with great taste in books, I recently read a book I would have loved when I was eleven or twelve. I’m happy to say that I loved it now. It is an old book, published in 1962, but it is one of my new favorites. It has been a much-loved book for many years. Maybe you have read it–or will look for it in your library now.

The book is The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken. It is an adventure set in a strange world that is both like and unlike the England of the early 19th century. A tunnel has been built under the English Channel (in real life this didn’t happen until late in the 20th century). Wolves have come through it to menace the English countryside. When three young people fight to save their home, what will the wolves do?

New fossil finds of an ancient relative

Suppose there were two different species of humans alive at the same time? It happened more than once in the past.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-evidence-of-mysterious-homo-naledi-raises-questions-about-how-humans-evolved/

In a southern African cave called Rising Star, scientists have discovered many fossils of a species of human relative called Homo naledi. The skulls and skeletons of this extinct human relative are a strange mix of primitive features and more advanced ones. Many questions remain, and much research waits to be done, but the Rising Star fossils promise to tell us more about how our family tree evolved. One fascinating thing about Homo naledi is that the newly discovered fossils appear to be only about 300,000 years old. That’s a very short time in the history of our species! Homo naledi probably roamed the African plains at the same time, and in the same areas, as our own ancestors several hundred thousand years ago.

New look

I’m happy to unveil a new look for this website, complete with this blog. Here I’ll share information about what I’m writing and reading, along with other news from my writing life.

You can comment here or email me by clicking on the Contact tab at the top of this page. I look forward to hearing from you.

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