How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
5/5 stars from Mary! This book is way cool!
“There are funny crying parts and disgusting stupid parts and hideous cool parts, but it’s pretty much one train wreck after another. And who can tear their eyes away from a train wreck?” -From the Intro
How They Croaked is a quick read probably written for middle school boys who are WAY more excited about gory details than historical facts, but does an awesome job of supplying both.
I don’t want to give you too many spoilers but- Did you know King Tutt died from Malaria? And did you know that Edgar Allen Poe more than likely died from rabies? Who does that? Isn’t that cool?
The book doesn’t just describe the end though. Bragg goes into little known facts about the 19 famous people she features. I learned a lot more about them in this book than I ever did in school. I can’t believe I never knew that Galileo was only imprisoned for his discovery of the earth orbiting the sun and not burned alive. He lived for seven years under house arrest until he died of kidney failure. I also didn’t know that Charles Dickens was bi-polar and that he had so many strokes he was barely able to move half of his body for a few years.
Bragg is a really talented author. This is both a good and a bad thing. Good because your kids will be TOTALLY hooked. She’s really quite funny. Bad because she is REALLY good at writing for her audience. I can guarantee that your kids are going to want to read you passages like the following, just to gross you out.
“First, he sliced Einstein’s body open right down the middle. The rib cage that had protected Einstein’s insides for almost eight decades was jimmied open. With tweezers, clippers, pruning shears, a bone saw, and various other tools of trade, the pathologist examined Einstein’s guts.”
I can just imagine how this would go in a classroom. All the girls would be going “eww!!” and all the boys would be going “cool!!”. Except Jessica of course. She would be the one girl that would be like “WAY COOL! And apparently, I would be too I guess, because I really did think this book was WAY COOL. Your kids probably would too.
I got my copy from the book sale at the library. I am going to donate it to the Little Free Library that’s close to 600 E and 350 S. You should grab it if you think you or your kids would be interested!
You’re welcome- or- I’m sorry… I’ll let you decide which is more appropriate.