Monday, April 25, 2022

How To Build a Human by Pamela S. Turner

How To Build a Human : in Seven Evolutionary Steps 
by Pamela S. Turner; Art. by John Gurche 
Charlesbridge. 2022 

Award-winning science writer, Pamela S. Turner, has written a remarkable must-read for everyone on the planet with How To Build a Human. Using her talent of making science easily understood, Turner tells the epic story of human evolution in seven big steps that led to Homo sapiens. 

In 133 pages, she explains “How, when, and why did we: 
1. stand up, 
2. discover pointy objects, 
3. get big heads, 
4. take a hike,
5. invent barbecue, 
6. start talking (and never shut up), and 
7. become storytellers?” 
and answers the question, “How did we evolve into a species that builds cities, makes war, and transmits thoughts from one brain to another using little black marks on paper?” 

This is a remarkable book made even better with the haunting portraits by John Gurche, one of the most respected paleo-artists in the field. Not only do we read the story of evolution, but Gurche’s art gives an important visual element that makes this book rock. 

Included is an author’s notes, (one of the best I’ve ever read), glossary, time line, a more complete list of the Hominin Family, recommended books and websites, source notes, an extensive bibliography, and index. 

A remarkable storyteller, thank you, Pamela S. Turner, for taking the time to write such a remarkable book on evolution. 

I am hoping, How to Build a Human wins the 2022 Robert F. Sibert Award.

Click here to visit the How To Build. a Human page on the Charlesbridge website. There, you can download an educator’s guide, watch Pamela Turner introduce this book, and be able to send her questions. 


  1. I have this one on hold--very excited to read it! It sounds incredible!

  2. Sounds amazing. Need to get my opposable thumbs on this one asap!