June 24, 2013
How They Croaked by Georgia Braggs
How They Croaked:
The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
by Georgia Braggs
illustrated by Kevin O’Malley
At first glance, this probably seems more like a good Halloween book that light summer reading, but it is the perfect casual read for your ghoulish boy reader. With the tongue in cheek style, at first glance it may seem light weight but there is a surprising amount of information packed into these irreverent pages.
Readers will learn about a variety of well-known people including ancients such as King Tut and the comparatively recent Julius Ceasar to the scientific wonder Einstein. Each sketch is roughly six pages long focusing on why the person was famous (sadly, King Tut is better known in death than he would have been in life) and how he or she died. Although foul play caused a number of these deaths, others can be blamed on poor hygiene and the medical practices of the times. Let’s just say that after your son reads this, don’t be surprised when he sends his pediatrician back to wash his hands.
After each profile is a 2 page collection of facts that are somehow loosely related to the stiff in question, ranging from the problems inherent in mummy paint for King Tut to medical advances that would have helped for James Garfield.
Although this book doesn’t go in to great depth concerning any of the people it profiles, it would be an excellent choice for a reluctant reader or any boy too busy to read on a sunny summer day.
Yes, I keep saying boy because it is a book with definite boy appeal but there are girls out there who would love this book as well. And don’t underrate the “grown up” appeal. When my son got this book for his birthday, he lost it for the day as it made its way around the room from one adult to another as we each picked out a profile to read and share with the group.
This is a fast paced, irreverent read that gets more than a little gross periodically. Yes, it’s a lot of fun, but if you are a squeamish mom, don’t say I didn’t warn you.