Lucy & Andy Neanderthal

illus. by Jeffrey Brown. 224p. chron. Random. Aug. 2016. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780385388351; lib ed. $15.99. ISBN 9780385388375.
Gr 2–5—Popular author Brown brings his fun cartoon style, often seen in his "Star Wars" adventures, to this prehistoric tale. Lucy and Andy are two Neanderthal siblings who take us through a fairly normal week (mammoth hunting, crafting tools, making clothes). At the end of each chapter, modern scientists on an archaeological dig at their cave provide factual commentary. The last chapter and author's note include a time line and more information about the world of the Neanderthals. With his extensive research and these notes, Brown has created a graphic novel that is as much nonfiction as fiction, containing historical context and a lovely fictional story with siblings, crushes, and other adventures. The resulting blend is sure to draw reluctant readers and send some students scurrying for more in-depth material. Kids will learn a great deal about the Neanderthals while laughing their way through the story. Brown demonstrates a depth of knowledge of the subject, with a few winking anachronisms.
VERDICT An amusing and enjoyable graphic novel that teaches about daily Neanderthal life, this title will be right at home in most elementary school and public library collections.

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