Camp Fossil Eyes: Digging for the Origins of Words

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Annick Press, 2009 - Juvenile Fiction - 131 pages
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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.

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User Review  - KimJD - LibraryThing

From February 2010 SLJ Thirteen-year-old Alex and his older sister Jillian are spending several weeks at an unusual summer camp. Camp Fossil Eyes, located in the western badlands, specializes in ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

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.

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