Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past

Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.


Illustrated in color and black-and-white with over 65 photographs, many of them rare. For ages 8 to adult. Published by Houghton Mifflin.

Honors and Awards

Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers

and the Recovery of the Past

2009 Robert F. Sibert Informational Award Honor Book

awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association

Bodies From the Ice explores the archaeology of glacier science. Deem's visual presentation engages readers through period newspaper illustrations, paintings, maps and photographs of ice mummies and artifacts from four continents. Twisted bleached bones, sacrificial victims and legendary climbers are the pinnacle of this en'GROSS'ing account."

 


 

2011 Prairie Pasque Award Winner

The 25th book to win the Prairie Pasque Award, and the first time a nonfiction book has won.

The Librarian at Longfellow Elementary School, Mitchell, SD, wrote: "Melting glaciers and frozen mummified bodies!  What more could you ask for?  Many students love gruesome topics and mysteries. They also enjoy learning about how people lived in the past. This book delivers it all with attention grabbing pictures and a little bit of science added to the mix.  I haven't yet shelved this book as it is always in demand!"

 


 

Finalist for the 2009 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books

This award "celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults."

 


 

Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2008

"The discoveries of bodies and artifacts at the edges of melting glaciers around the world triggered the imagination of award-winning author James M. Deem and led to Bodies from the Ice, his third book about real-life mummies (Bodies from the Ash, 2005, etc.). Deem spent two years working on the book, three-quarters of that stretch on travel and research. “I always like to spend the largest part of my time on research to make sure that I've found the most compelling information,” he says. Deem visited special glacier exhibits and out-of-the-way museums, and he explored the glaciers around Chamonix, France. Astounding glacier images were found by searching photo agencies and museums, as well as less conventional sources. Deem says that at first the book was going to explore the mummified bodies and artifacts found in glaciers. That changed as he began to discover how much glaciers have changed during the last century. "Once glaciers were popular tourist attractions; now they are in the process of disappearing from the face of Earth," he says. "So the book became a memorial to glaciers as much as to the fascinating people and objects that have been found in them."

 


 

Notable Book for Children 2009 

chosen by the American Library Association

"In this exploration of the archaeology of glacier science, Deem's visual presentation engages readers through period newspaper illustrations, paintings, maps and photographs of ice mummies and artifacts from four continents." 

 


 

2009 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12

chosen by the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council 

"Gripping stories of anthropological investigations are accompanied by highly informative expedition photographs of human remains discovered in glaciers around the world in this NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2009. The scenes include digs in areas such as the Alps of Europe and the Andes of Peru. There, preserved bodies give us a glimpse into our human prehistory as well as of the climate and inhabitants of Earth's past. This unique book can complement several subject areas, from its clear description of glaciation to the forensic methods used to determine the diet and range of these prehistoric peoples; there are even tips on the environmental implications of the finds. Clear photos of artifacts could provide interdisciplinary links to art and culture. The great photos make the content accessible to students who are even younger than the intended secondary audience. There are also websites for further research, a list of glaciers to explore and visit, and a bibliography."

 


2009 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

chosen by the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children's Book Council

"The melting of world glaciers has not only exposed rocky terrain, but long-hidden human bodies, such as the man now known as Ötzi. The book offers insight into a variety of cultures along the Andes, the Alps, and the Himalayas, and includes helpful maps and primary resources."

Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State

2008 New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

 


 

Capitol Choices Noteworthy Book 2009 (10-14)  

"Scientists are able to peer into the past as global warming and retreating glaciers gradually reveal the remains of early humans. An intriguing companion to the author's earlier Bodies from the Ash and Bodies from the Bog."

 


 

CCBC Choices 2009

"Melting glaciers is a frequent topic in today’s headlines, and one that is explored on anthropological and environmental levels in James M. Deem's fascinating work. Explaining the scientific aspects of glacier formation as well as geographic conditions, Deem discusses how glaciers operate like 'a giant conveyor belt—essentially a moving river of ice.' With force and power, glaciers churn up, and turn up, mountain debris. This debris sometimes includes human remains that offer amazing insights into the past. From discoveries of an iceman in the Alps to ancient children of the Andes and the remains of native North Americans, Deem reveals how mysteries of human history are decoded from glacial meltings worldwide. Fascinating photographs complement the captivating narrative."

 


 

Takoma Park Maryland Library, Best Kids Books of 2008:

"...many kids will be interested in how global warming has uncovered treasures buried for centuries...."

 


 

Nominated for:

the 2010-2011 Young Hoosier Book Award (middle grades)

the 2011 Garden State Teen Book Award (Nonfiction Grades 6-12)