Sue Hendrickson made history in 1990 when she discovered ‘Sue,’ the world’s most complete set of Tyrannosaurus Rex bones ever found. Nearly thirty years later, Toni Buzzeo and Diana Sudyka have brought that discovery to life for young readers in When Sue Found Sue. We loved the book because who doesn’t love a book that combines dinosaurs, science, and smart girls all into one?
While When Sue Found Sue may be primarily about the discovery of ‘Sue’ the dinosaur but it doesn’t begin there. Instead, the book starts back when Sue Hendrickson was herself just a little girl. Shy but quick to learn and find missing things, she let her imagination and curiosity guide her out into the larger world. Sue was inspired by the world around her and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago to go out and make her own discoveries.
Sue Hendrickson is exactly the kind of adventurous, strong woman you hope can inspire your own kiddos. She’s an incredible explorer who’s interests aren’t just limited to paleontology and the book talks about the adventures she had before coming upon Sue.
I think that Toni Buzzeo handled ‘Sue’s’ discovery well considering the controversy that ultimately arose over the dinosaur’s ownership. That part of the story isn’t skirted over but it isn’t touched on in depth. Instead the book focuses mostly on the exciting parts of the story including Sue’s happenstance discovery of ‘Sue,’ the excavation process, and more. If kids have any doubts about how hard of work it is digging up dinosaur bones they won’t after reading this book!
Diana Sudyka’s illustrations are wonderful. She does a particularly great job capturing the stark, natural beauty of the South Dakota excavation site. Despite the scenery she still brings to life a colorful, vibrant world. The scenes where Sue is a girl are bright and lively as are the scenes as she grows up and begins to explore the world. And I’m just really impressed by how she was able to bring ‘Sue’ to life – bones and all.
When Sue Found Sue is a great pick for all the budding, young, female paleontologists out there or just smart girls who really like dinosaurs. It’s a great example of an inspirational biography that is as much Sue’s story as it is that of ‘Sue.’ Hopefully Sue Hendrickson will inspire your kiddos to follow their dreams, get a little dirty, and explore a career in some sort of field of science – if not paleontology, too!