The epic story of our evolution in seven big steps!

How did we become who we are?

With trademark wit, acclaimed science writer Pamela S. Turner breaks down human evolution into the seven most important steps leading to Homo sapiens.

How, when, and why did we:

1. stand up

2. smash rocks

3. get swelled heads

4. take a hike

5. invent barbecue

6. start talking (and never shut up)

7. become storytellers?

This fascinating, wickedly funny account of our evolutionary journey turns science into an irresistible story. Vetted by experts at the Smithsonian's Human Origins Program, the book also features incredibly detailed portraits by celebrated paleo-artist John Gurche that bring our early ancestors to life.


"Turner is a consummate storyteller. . ."

—The Horn Book, starred review


"A probing look into what fossil evidence and other scientific discoveries tell us about our hominid predecessors. . . . Glints of fun light up a rock-solid dig into our Stone Age ancestry."

—Kirkus Reviews, starred review


"A must for science shelves."

—Booklist, starred review

Pamela S. Turner is the author of Samurai Rising, a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award finalist; Crow Smarts, winner of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books; an many other books for young readers. She is a proud descendant of forest apes, Australopiths, Handy People, Erectus, Heidelbergensis, Neanderthals, and ancient Homo sapiens.