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A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human
Contributor(s): Frydenborg, Kay
ISBN: 0544286561     ISBN-13: 9780544286566
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    OUR PRICE: $17.09  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: March 2017
Annotation: Explores the connection between dogs and humans from hunter-gatherer partners to modern day pets, focusing on how humans have influenced dogs' evolution and raising new questions about the species' shared future.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Dogs; History.
Dogs; Evolution.
Human-animal relationships; History.
Dewey: 636.7
LCCN: 2016000217
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 9.25" H x 6.50" W x 1.25" (1.48 lbs) 246 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 187724
Reading Level: 9.5   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 8.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q69374
Reading Level: 12.9   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 11.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Fall)
"Humankind's best friend" has been relatively understudied in scientific circles, but recent developments have led to increased dog research across a variety of fields and disciplines. Discoveries help us understand how dogs evolved from wolves and how those dogs also helped us evolve into humans (a.k.a. coevolution). The author's passion and curiosity is evident throughout. Full-color photographs and sidebars are interspersed. Websites. Bib., glos., ind. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #1)
"Humankind's best friend," as Frydenborg amends the phrase, has been relatively understudied in scientific circles, but recent developments-- particularly the 1994 discovery of dog tracks that rewrote the evolutionary timeline, DNA testing that allows us to more fully explore the connections between modern species and ancient ones, and MRI technology that allows us to monitor brain activity--have led to an increase in dog research across a variety of fields and disciplines. Those discoveries help us wonder, speculate, and understand how dogs evolved from wolves and how those dogs also helped us evolve into humans, a complicated dance of a process known as coevolution. After setting the stage, Frydenborg goes back for a deep dive into some of these disciplines, most notably paleontology, genetics, and psychology, but she also takes frequent digressions into history and biology, some confined to sidebars, others woven into the main narrative. Evident throughout are the author's passion and curiosity. Full-color photographs (not seen) are interspersed, while a glossary, source notes, a bibliography, and an index are appended. jonathan hunt Copyright 2016 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Incorporating insights from paleontology, biology, and the social sciences, Frydenborg (Chocolate) offers a fascinating study of the ways in which a relationship with canines has been pivotal to humanity's development. Frydenborg structures the narrative around the 1994 discovery of the fossilized footprints of a prehistoric child in a cave in Southern France. Alongside the boy's prints were those of a large, wolflike dog—arguably, the boy's companion. This discovery, along with developments in canine science, suggested that humans have been living with dogs for thousands of years longer than previously believed. Canine studies, Frydenborg explains, have taken this notion even further, with the theory that wolves and humans coevolved: "Humans and dogs, living so closely together over time, evolved specialized brain capacities that complemented one another perfectly." She also explores dog psychology, with a particular emphasis on the question of whether dogs possess "theory of mind." Sidebars and color photographs supplement and expand on the central narrative, which is all but certain to leave readers thinking about their dogs, and themselves, in entirely new ways. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 May)

Gr 7 Up—It may come as no surprise that our canine companions descended from wolves, but this title describes a coevolution and cooperation with humans that may have begun much earlier than scientists once estimated. The 1994 discovery and carbon dating of tracks of a wolflike dog and a boy in France's Chauvet Cave reveal that humans and dog companions walked together 26,000 years ago. This is an unfolding story, leading readers through the basics of evolutionary science and how findings lead to anthropological theories. The variations in breeds today are explained in terms of artificial vs. natural selection. American paleoanthropologist Pat Shipman suggests that wolves may have helped modern human ancestors survive the Paleolithic era, when Neanderthals could not, by teaching humans how to delegate pack responsibilities of protection, scouting, and babysitting. In turn, wolves learned to follow a human's gaze. The investigative puzzle emphasizes the importance of asking questions and collaborating with scientists from other fields to come up with answers. Color-blocked pages offer explanations of scientific processes, profile field-related tools, and relay asides about canine fanciers and 9/11 rescue dogs. The latter part of the book focuses on the intelligence, personality, and trainability of dogs and on current research on a shared community of disease-preventing microbes that shine a positive light on "sloppy dog kisses." VERDICT This is narrative nonfiction at its best—high interest and engaging, with meaty interdisciplinary science exploration. A top choice for tweens and teens.—Vicki Reutter, State University of New York at Cortland

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.