Can't Get Them to Read? Try Snarky Tales of Death and Suffering!
January 15, 2013
English monarch and world-renowned glutton Henry VIII eventually exploded because none of his courtiers wanted to break the news to their countrymen that he had died. Before poor Ludwig von Beethoven finally threw in the towel, his doctors steamed him like an artichoke until he ballooned to twice his size. And creepy, old Edgar Allan Poe wandered the streets of Baltimore for days wearing someone else's clothes and ranting incoherently before he died of a suspected case of rabies.
Those are just a few of the fascinating and downright disgusting facts kids can learn from How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg.
While parents might wince at some of Bragg's rather detailed and snarky accounts of the lives and eventual ends of 19 historic figures, kids will tear through this book absorbing all the gory details. Let's face it, nothing makes for stimulating lunchtime conversation like tales of angry boils, bloodsucking leeches, and buckets full of pus and vomit.
This book is perfect for the not-so-eager reader. Each chapter takes a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the life, death, and times of each awfully famous person. The awful ends part is just a clever way of delivering some history lessons.
It's also a fun read for grown-ups who haven't quite grown up.