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Ick! Yuck! Eew!: Our Gross American History Library Binding – August 1, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8–What was life really like in early America? Readers are transported back to the 1700s for a bird's-eye view. On the first page, they “land” in a city in June 1770. As they stroll around, they learn that conditions were not glamorous. Animals roamed freely, so the streets were riddled with dung and garbage. In addition to the smell, they also dealt with the buzzing mosquitoes, creeping bedbugs, flies, and biting lice. As the journey continues, readers learn about the lack of hygiene and various diseases that were rampant. Side notes and illustrations explain in more detail such things as the smallpox epidemic, rotting teeth, and various remedies used to treat these ailments. The full-color art is a mixture of photographs and reproductions and serves to convince children about the realities of life in the early years of America. This enlightening book would be helpful for research and will attract browsers, although not everyone will appreciate its grossness.–Annette Herbert, F. E. Smith Elementary School, Cortland, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In this heavily illustrated book, Huey seeks to help young readers experience history through the senses of smell, feel, and taste. The bug-filled cover illustration will alert readers that the contents are indeed gross and yucky, and sensitive readers who are easily creeped out by bugs should stay away from this book. Those who like gross stuff will get a kick out of reading about the stinky living conditions, bug-infested and rotting food that people ate, the lack of dental and other personal hygiene, and other icky bits of eighteenth-century American history. The descriptions of bedbug-infested furniture and clouds of mosquitoes may set some readers scratching. If nothing else, this book should help readers appreciate refrigeration and other processes that keep our food fresh, the wonders of indoor plumbing, and even the humble toothbrush—one look at the mouth full of rotting teeth should send everyone to the bathroom to start brushing. The book includes suggestions for further reading, a list of places to visit, and useful websites. Grades 4-6. --Kat Kan
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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 48 pages
  • Publisher: 21st Century (August 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076139091X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761390916
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding
If you’re a young history buff, you just might want to “take a trip in a time machine” to check out the year 1770. Taking a look at pictures of people in books sure looks interesting, but was it really? Perhaps ... if you like yucky things like bugs ‘n poop. Smelly things should be high on your list as well if you are planning on having a good time on that trip. June is the perfect time to have that experience, but just what will you see? Take a close look at that street if you dare. There are “layers of poop” everywhere and if that isn’t an eye-opener, how about the fact that “dead dogs, cats, and rats pile up in the streets.” Maybe you just might want to stay home.

Don’t try to rush inside to get away from the stench because it’ll just follow you there as well. Stinky smells are everywhere, including the “smelly garbage” in the backyard where that outhouse is. Just trying to be sociable in that day and age could be problematic. Trying to get close to anyone would make you want to hold your nose. Things like “bad breath from rotting teeth,” smoking, and rarely bathing aren’t exactly a turn on. Probably the only way for women to save face was to hide the stench by “chewing cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, and honey melted in ashes.” Oh, and they also smoked pipes to cover it up. Eew!

If the smells won’t slay you, how about the battle of the bugs. The mosquitoes will drive you bonkers during the day, but at night there’s yet another little problem awaiting you when you head to bed. You might not be able to “see the little red bugs all over the bed,” but they’re sure to find you. Bedbugs “crawl everywhere: all over you, the bed, the wallpaper, and the floor.” Even if you get up to sit in that upholstered chair they’ll find you there. Ready to head back to today?
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Format: Library Binding
Is it just my kids or do all kids love the gross and disgusting parts of history. My kids have checked out every "You wouldn't want to be...." book our library has on its shelves and they keep picking up the Horrible Histories books and reread all about the yucky parts of different historical time periods and places. When looking through available books for review on Netgalley I came across a book called Ick! Yuck! Eew! our Gross American History. I knew it was one my kids would enjoy reading. I requested it and was sent the book. We had to read it on the computer because my Kindle wouldn't not have done justice to the great page layouts in this book. A hard copy would be the best way to view this book!

It is written as if the reader is a time traveler going back to America in 1770. All the common place things that we would find really foul about life in that time period is discussed. It made me really happy to live when I do. I don't have to deal with rotten teeth and stinky, unwashed people (most of the time). This book certainly paints a rancid, unattractive picture of life during this time period.

I won't spoil it for you but it discusses the smells you would be inflicted with and what causes them, the bugs you would be dealing with, germs and diseases along with the medical practices used, and even what the people would have been wearing during these colonial years in American History.

I think the author may be right. I wouldn't be able to handle American life in 1770 knowing what I know now. My kids loved the grossness of this book and perhaps pictures things a lot differently when they "see" what life would have been like for the people of that day.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gabbymaru on January 23, 2014
Format: Library Binding
Being a fan of Charlotte Mason as I am, books like this really disturb me. I received this as a galley and reviewed it. I had hopes that it would have some value but it has very little. Not only is the author a complete germaphobe, but the 'facts' were not all true. Most of them, but not all. This looked like a book thrown together with a couple nights worth of google searching and some nasty pictures.

Why do people think children are only going to be interested in books (they especially do this to boys) if it's gross or nasty with lots of pictures. That's basically what this is, a book full of nasty pictures and comments guaranteed to ensure that your child is terrified of their own bodily functions and germs in general.
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Format: Library Binding
I’ve always wanted to travel back in time to a more peaceful stress-free existence. Until I read this book!
Now, I know about ‘The Yucky Past’, ‘The Awful Smells’, ‘The Creepy-Crawly Bugs’, “The Nasty Germs”, and so much more! 1770 was not as romantic as it seems in the books.
This book is really well done. It completely grossed me out but the pictures, the graphics, and the short interesting segments make it perfect for you reluctant reader or history buff!
My middle-schooler is going to love this book!

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Author: Lois Miner Huey
Source: Millbrook Press via Netgalley
Grade: B+
Ages: 12+
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By Christi Hartley on February 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can order books for my students and get them in 2 days. We all love reading them. Thanks amazon and other sellers!
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