Monday, May 14, 2012

Dead Non-Fiction

So we've been continuing our Dinner Table Discussions to varying degrees of success. But this book the other day was a huge hit:

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
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I know. It sounds a little grotesque. But it is actually fascinating and a great way to get your kids excited about history. Here's a blurb from the book:

*It is believed that Henry VIII's remains exploded within his coffin while lying in state. 
*Doctors "treated" George Washington by draining almost 80 ounces of blood before he finally kicked the bucket.
*Right before Beethoven wrote his last notes, doctors drilled a hole in his stomach without any pain medication.
*Readers will be interested well past the final curtain, and feel lucky to live in a world with painkillers, X-rays, soap, and 911.

We never got past Henry the VIII, because the kids were so interested in exploding bodies. There are nineteen dead people in this book, so I'm thinking it will give us eighteen more nights of discussion. (These discussions, by the way, get completely out of my control after about five minutes, leading to very interesting topics that are rarely related to what we started talking about. But they get us talking, and that is the point.)

You may not want to discuss these other books at the dinner table (if you have squeamish eaters), but here are some more great titles to get your kids interested in nonfiction.

Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up by Sarah Albee
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(The self proclaimed Number One Book on Number Two)

Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer
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Click here for the video blurb:

Never Smile at a Monkey by Steve Jenkins
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Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a few flat tires along the way)
by Sue Macy
Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)

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