SLJ Review of Disastrous Deaths
Those interested in the gruesome and morbid will find plenty to explore in this series. The table of contents is listed on a tombstone, and a collection of “weird” phrases about death like, “kicked the bucket” begins each book. Within the pages are incredible stories of those who have died by a tortoise falling on their head, tripping on their own beard, or equally odd events. Background on each figure and details about their era in history are included. Those details create an image of the world that each character knew—whether Thames muckrakers or Greek theatergoers. Photos of locations, paintings, or statues of the deceased are included where possible. A glossary defining unusual words and a booklist for further reading are in the back matter. VERDICT Perfect for fans of Georgia Bragg’s How They Croaked; sections could also be used to introduce particular time periods in social studies classes.