Tales Mummies Tell Critical Context - Essay

Patricia Lauber

Critical Context

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Patricia Lauber considers herself a serious author of informative juvenile literature. She has written for Scholastics Magazine and has moved in scholarly circles, with staff positions at Science World, The New Book of Knowledge, and Scientific American Illustrated Library. Lauber has published books on volcanoes, dinosaurs, earthquakes, glaciers, rivers, and icebergs and such creatures as earthworms, penguins, dogs, bats, and mice. She also documents nations—their people, scientists, and environment.

Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens (1986), received several prestigious awards. Tales Mummies Tell received the New York Academy of Sciences Honor Book citation in 1986. Lauber is the author of many other books with archeological themes, such as Dinosaurs Walked Here and Other Stories Fossils Tell (1987), The News About Dinosaurs (1989), and Living with Dinosaurs (1991).

Lauber began writing in a lighthearted manner; she first wrote of her dog Clarence in a series of humorous misadventures. Editors soon realized that she had the ability to surprise and fascinate adults while explaining information to intermediate readers. Lauber suggests that her ability to write emanates from her love of hearing others read. She writes of those subjects that interest her, and, judging by her long list of books, curiosity has served her well.