Mary Anning

Fossil Hunter

From the Series On My Own Biography

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 - Grade 4
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

In the early 1800s, very few girls were allowed to learn about science. Yet Mary Anning spent her life hunting for fossils on the cliffs of Lyme Regis, England. When she was still a girl, she and her brother found an amazing ichthyosaur skeleton—but that was only the beginning. Author Sally M. Walker uses letters, journal entries, and academic papers to reveal the true story of a woman who followed her own path. Detailed, scientifically accurate artwork by Phyllis V. Saroff offers a vivid portrait of Mary Anning and the fossils she loved.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 3
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Brand On My Own Books
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Publication Date 2000-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 3.1
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF007000, JNF007090
Dewey 560'.92
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Lexile 560
Guided Reading Level O
ATOS Reading Level 3.5
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 45508
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Afterword, Awards, Reviewed, Teaching Guides, and Timeline


  • CBC Children's Choices, Winner, 2001
  • Parents' Choice Award, Winner, 2001
  • Science Books & Films Best Books, Winner, 2001


School Library Journal

“. . .Walker’s large print, short sentences, and easy text, with an authoritative bibliography appended, places Anning’s life and accomplishments well within the personal grasp of young readers.”
School Library Journal

Science Books & Films

“Walker’s excellent book, written for elementary school children, describes fossils, explains the importance of fossil hunting, and discusses Anning’s role as a leading English collector. This book contains a chronology and a bibliography and belongs in every elementary school library.”
Science Books & Films

Author: Sally M. Walker

Sally M. Walker has been a children's book writer for over 20 years. Most of her books are nonfiction and present various science topics to young readers. Fossil Fish Found Alive is the story of the hunt for the elusive fish called the coelacanth. Sally also enjoys combining science investigation with historical topics. Her book Secrets of a Civil War Submarine, which won the 2006 Robert F. Sibert Medal, tells about the history, loss, and re-discovery of the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in battle. Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland takes readers on archaeological expeditions, where the forensic analysis of colonial settlers' bones helps us to understand their lives. Sally especially enjoys writing narrative nonfiction that captures the reader's attention with a true story. She is also the author of 2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut.

Illustrator: Phyllis V. Saroff

Phyllis Saroff is a freelance illustrator located in Annapolis, Maryland. Her illustrations have been used in books and magazines for children, and her scientific illustrations appear on displays in wildlife management areas across the country. Phyllis also paints fine art and portraiture. She is represented by McBride Gallery in Annapolis, Maryland.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

On My Own Biography

Engage readers’ interest and imagination! These award-winning biographies feature full-page illustrations. Written in story format, each book features pivotal episodes that reveal what kind of person the subject is (or was) and how he or she came to be famous. View available downloads →