Skip to Main Content

A Dinosaur Named Ruth

How Ruth Mason Discovered Fossils in Her Own Backyard

Illustrated by Alexandra Bye

For fans of Shark Lady comes the incredible true story of a girl who discovered dinosaur bones in her own backyard and, after years of persistence, helped uncover one of the most exciting paleontological discoveries of our time.

There’s an extraordinary secret hidden just beneath Ruth Mason’s feet. The year is 1905, and Ruth is a prairie girl living in South Dakota. She has no way of knowing that millions of years ago, her family farm was once home to scores of dinosaurs. Until one day, when Ruth starts finding clues to the past: strange rocks and rubble scattered all across her land. They’re dinosaur fossils—but she doesn’t know that yet, either. It will take many years of collecting these clues, and many, many questions, but Ruth’s curiosity will one day help uncover thousands of fossils all across her land.

Alexandra Bye’s vibrant illustrations bring to life this inspiring and exciting debut picture book from award-winning journalist Julia Lyon.

Photograph courtesy of the author

Julia Lyon is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism and spent more than ten years working in daily newspapers in Oregon and Utah before becoming a freelance writer in 2013. She has won a United Nations Correspondents Association gold medal after visiting refugee camps in Thailand and has won many other journalism awards and distinctions for her reporting. A Dinosaur Named Ruth is her debut picture book.

Alexandra Bye is a freelance illustrator specializing in fun, colorful illustrations for a variety of media such as editorial and children’s publications. Her work is constantly inspired by her flourishing New England community and reflects the energy and dynamic personality of hometown pride. In her free time, she enjoys mountain biking, Nordic ski racing, Jiu Jitsu, studying nutritional therapy, and hiking in the White Mountains with her dog, Oliver.

More books from this illustrator: Alexandra Bye