Monday, January 21, 2013

The Giant And How He Humbugged America (2012)

The Giant and How He Humbugged America. Jim Murphy. 2012. Scholastic. 112 pages.

The Giant may not be Jim Murphy's best work of nonfiction, it is still a mostly interesting account of an American hoax in the nineteenth century. The opening chapters tell an unfolding story of the discovering of the petrified giant and its immediate local success. The first fifty pages or so stay in the moment, the rest of the book, on the other hand, chronicles the hoax from beginning to end revealing the intent, showing how it was carried out, detailing all the people involved, following the story from its local beginning all the way around its tour. It does provide a behind-the-scenes look at supposedly "clever" deceivers, and the supposedly gullible audience that "should" have known better. I didn't particularly like learning about these (slimy) characters. But the story revealed wasn't uninteresting. But there were parts of the narration I just didn't care for. (I am not sure it was the author's intent to be condescending in matters of faith, but it didn't feel right to me either.)

Read The Giant And How He Humbugged America
  • If you like nonfiction for tweens and/or teens
  • If you like Jim Murphy
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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