Camp Fossil Eyes: Digging for the Origins of Words

Camp Fossil Eyes: Digging for the Origins of Words


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See into the past and discover how English evolved from more than 350 languages.

In this fanciful book about etymology, 15-year-old Jill Boswell and her 13-year-old brother, Alex, are sent to summer camp in a bizarre badlands region -- the only place in the world where words are fossilized in rock. Armed with water bottles, spades and backpacks, the campers hike from ridge to ridge in search of their ancient quarry. The budding word hounds soon realize they are on an amazing journey of discovery.

Traveling through the mountains of fossilized words -- from ancient Greece (television, demon, gorilla, catastrophe) to Spain (mosquito, ten-gallon, burrito) and from the language of the Goths (heathen, home, haunt) to Dutch (booze, dock, pickle, cookie) -- they find that even current words like podcast and gossip originated hundreds of years ago!

Illustrations by Kathryn Adams capture the fun of the word expedition and celebrate the joy of language sleuthing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554511808
Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Pages: 136
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 9 - 11 Years

About the Author

Mark Abley is an acclaimed author, poet, journalist, travel writer, essayist and editor. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages, a New York Times Notable Book. He lives in Montreal.

Kathryn Adams is a freelance illustrator whose work has appeared in books, magazines and newspapers across North America. She lives in Toronto.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Where did Our Language Come From?

Indigenous Languages
Recent Words
Old English
Old Norse
Proto-Indo European

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Camp Fossil Eyes: Digging for the Origins of Words 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
BusyNatalie More than 1 year ago
The book is all about the origin of words, written in epistolary style as a series of emails from two kids at summer camp back to their parents. The book’s premise is the kids are at a camp where words show up as fossils in the surrounding area, with the history of the word imbedded in the fossil. Everyone in the family has enjoyed this book and the author gets the voice of totally bored teenage girl and enthusiastic teenage boy down perfectly. It's a surprisingly engaging introduction to the idea of where words come from.
Mista-Lista More than 1 year ago
My daughter and I stumbled upon this book at our local library. The book is a fictionary story of a brother and sister that go to a summer camp that specializes in learning the history of words. The story is supposed to intrigue kids into wanting to learn about the history of words we use today. The book was extremely boring. My daughter and I gave up on the book about half-way through. I know the subject matter is a tough one to sell to kids, but this book makes learning about the history of words more boring than just looking words up online. The story consists of a brother and sister e-mailing their adventures to their parents. This proved to be very cheesy and unimaginative. My daughter concludes my review by saying," The book is a form of child abuse." Enough said.