The early story of California’s glorious Sierra Nevada is unlike any other. From its formation by deep convection currents, moving curstal plates, and upwelling magmas, to the survival strategies of native Californians before Europeans came, the Sierra’s beginnings were dramatic. Using nontechnical language, author Louise Jackson describes the geology, natural history, and early anthropology of this major mountain range, where unique plants and animals have evolved and humans have lived for thousands of years. “Part 1” explains the range’s geologic origins and the changes in its climate and ecosystems, while “Part 2” examines six of the region’s first human communities. Each of these chapters begins with a native legend, followed by a description of that group’s migration to California, its social subdivisions, and its neighbors. The author also discusses each community’s customs, beliefs, and ways of life. Numerous historical photos and explanatory illustrations enhance the narrative. This engrossing and enlightening book is sure to enthrall residents and visitors to the amazing Sierra Nevada.