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82 Reviews
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ewww! Gross!
I debated for quite some time about whether to read this book. There is after all a warning at the beginning that the book contains "the blood, sweat, and guts of real people." And I've never been one for grossness. But in the end I decided that in order to share it with my students, many of whom I knew would be fascinated by this book, I needed to read it...
Published on July 11, 2011 by Heidi Grange

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23 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too irreverent
I noticed in the Amazon review section two words that stand out to me after reading this book; the writing is "flippant" and the pictures are "snarky". Obviously, in the rude world of today's middle schoolers, those words assure the popularity of this book.

The information itself is interesting, and certainly debunks some of what has been regarded as truth, so...
Published on April 23, 2012 by J. Strimer


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ewww! Gross!, July 11, 2011
By 
Heidi Grange (Logan, UT United States) - See all my reviews
I debated for quite some time about whether to read this book. There is after all a warning at the beginning that the book contains "the blood, sweat, and guts of real people." And I've never been one for grossness. But in the end I decided that in order to share it with my students, many of whom I knew would be fascinated by this book, I needed to read it.

This book specifically looks at the lives (briefly) and unpleasant 'ends' of some of the worlds most famous people. Included are King Tut, Cleopatra, Henry VIII, Pocahontas, George Washington, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Darwin, etc. I confess that I didn't really expect to learn anything new. I love history and most of the people Bragg talks about are well-known. But I did learn things that surprised me. For example, I had no idea that Charles Dickens struggled with mental illness or that Albert Einstein's brain was stolen from his body before it was cremated. And I seriously had to wince reading the details of Christopher Columbus's numerous physical maladies.

This books is definitely not for the squeamish, but Bragg's light-hearted take on the subject keeps things moving while convincing the modern reader to be very grateful for modern medicine. For example, George Washington came down with what modern doctor's think was a throat infection that today could be cured by antibiotics. But his doctors used the following 'remedies,' bloodletting (numerous times, they took over a third of his blood), blister-beetle treatment (you don't want to know!), a dose of calomel (contains mercury, which is highly poisonous, tartar emetic (to make him vomit), and a variety of different poultices. No wonder he died!

Kevin O'Malley's illustrations provide a nice compliment to Bragg's style of writing and the sidebars provide extra tidbits of information. For example, did you know that July, Julian Calendar, Roman leaders, Czar, Kaiser, and C-section were all named after Julius Caesar. Also the first known autopsy was performed on Caesar. One would doubt the need for that because with 23 stab wound, the cause of death should be obvious, but it turns out that only ONE of the wounds was actually fatal. Apparently the assassins need to work on their aim.

I'm going to stop here because I wouldn't want to deprive you of the 'delights' of reading this book for yourself. Even if it doesn't work for you, I guarantee that someone in your life will be delighted to read it and share all the cool facts they learn with you! :)
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gift for 10 year old grandson, April 14, 2011
By 
J. Burns (Chantilly, Virginia United States) - See all my reviews
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I ordered this for my 10 year old grandson - he is very interested in history, and reads well above his greade level.

He loved it, and I did, also. Some of the double entendres were lost on him, but I caught them. Regardless, he has thoroughly enjoyed this book, and has taken some of the information contained therein back to his classroom.

This is a wonderful book for a child with a keen sense of humor and an understanding of "then" and "now".

This is also a wonderful book for parents and grandparents who want a little education and a lot of laughs.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for ages ranging from 8 to 80 plus, June 5, 2011
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My almost 9-year-old twin granddaughters fought over this book and my eight-year-old grandson would not put it down even while dining out. I showed it to friends in my bridge group and one ordered it for her 28-year-old grandson. Never have I read a more fun book chock full of good information that shows the writer's thorough research. Every adult should read this book. The children enjoyed the illustrations, particularly the one of Henry VIII.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I saw my grandson reading this book., June 28, 2013
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I saw my grandson reading this book and it looked good. So much so, I did not want to wait for him to finish so I bought my own copy. It is a bit gory in parts as you might expect from the title but kids like that kind of thing. So far, it has been a fun, easy read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating!, June 18, 2013
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I couldn't put it down. It would be great if Ms Bragg would write another book with other famous people!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is fun to read for kids and adults., June 10, 2013
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My Nine year old has read this book at least five times and still grabs it off the shelf when she is looking for something. It is broken down into essays about each person with interesting trivia and facts about the famous. Adults will learn something too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully gross!, May 22, 2013
What do Cleopatra, Albert Einstein, Mozart, and Edgar Allan Poe have in common? If you guessed that they are dead, you are absolutely correct! If you guessed that they died in really gruesome, gross, bizarre ways, you win a cookie! Not that you'll want to eat a cookie after reading this book, unless you are just weird like that. Georgia Bragg does a stellar job of telling us how 19 "awfully famous" folks met their really "awful ends" in this admittedly cool book. The sad thing is most of these famous people could have probably lived longer, better, healthier lives and done even greater (or worse in the case of Napoleon and a few others) things if only they had been born in modern times. Most of these folks could have been cured of their diseases with a simple round of antibiotics or at least not been bled to death with leeches, razors, and poisonous insects! (Yes, really!) The black and white illustrations by Kevin O'Malley add a special touch as do the facts scattered throughout the book about everything from how mummies are made to how many presidents died on July 4th. Book includes a list of sources, including internet sites, and a comprehensive index. Grades 5 and up will love reading about these famous folks and the gross ways they died. At the very least, they'll learn that it really is important to wash your hands!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, January 23, 2013
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I borrowed the book initially from my ten year old grand daughter. I found it so fascinating that I wanted my own copy. This was informative and written with humor. I loved it enough to want my own copy for future reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How They Croaked, April 13, 2011
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PROVIDES MUCH NEEDED LEVITY IN THESE DEPRESSING TIMES. AUTHOR HAS TERRIFIC SENSE OF HUMOR. EACH ENTRY WELL RESEARCHED AND SHORT; A QUICK READ. YOU WON'T WANT TO PUT IT DOWN. HAVE PASSED IT AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND THEY ALL LOVED IT!! AND, FOR ANYONE WHO KNOWS LITTLE ABOUT HISTORY, THIS SHOULD MAKE THEM WANT TO LEARN MORE! BIG PRINT, DELIGHTFUL ILLUSTRATIONS. WILL MAKE A GREAT GIFT .... AFTER YOU'VE READ IT FIRST.

"How They Croaked; the Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous" Purchased from Amazon.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never judge a book by its cover!!!!, August 16, 2012
I first set my eyes on this book in my local library. At first I had imagined it to be just one of those creepy tales which can be read to middle grade kids. But I am glad that I did not go by my initial instincts. This book is truly very informative and an interesting work of non-fiction. It is very common to be familiar with the lives of the famous personalities. But very few of us actually know about how they met their death. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and have strongly recommended it to my 10year old son.I am confident that another 5-star rating review will soon follow!
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How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Kevin O'Malley (Paperback - July 3, 2012)
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