Review: The Giant and How He Humbugged America

Cover  Scholastic

Cover © Scholastic

Nonfiction craziness alert!

I’ve reviewed a few more informational books lately. Have you noticed? The thing is, there is so much good nonfiction, about all kinds of strange and wondrous topics, that I can’t help but share it with you. I want your eyeballs to find it!

The Giant and How He Humbugged America is by one of my favorite nonfiction authors, Jim Murphy. He has written a ton of great historical accounts, from wars to disasters to microscopic killers. If his name is on the cover, it’s worth checking out!

The Giant is about a mysterious, oversized “petrified man,” dug up on a farm in New York state. Within just a few days, the massive man, called the Cardiff Giant, turned into a money-making sensation. People paid to see it, it went out on tour, and its fame spread throughout the nation.

But was it really a fossilized man, or was it just an elaborate hoax? The story is amazing, and you’ll have to read to find out.

I thought it was funny that this was a nonfiction book, but it was all about lies, or at least a distorted reality. Get it? In a book about real events, it was hard to figure out what was real and what was a deception.

Do you ever read books that have author’s notes in the back? Do you read the author’s note? You should! Many authors include a note to explain their research, or to tell why they chose their topic. Sometimes they’ll share little tidbits that they left out of the book, or give background. Author’s notes are fascinating!

Jim Murphy included an author’s note in The Giant. Using it, he made a connection between the Cardiff Giant and modern day  lies, trickery, and scams. One of the great things about history is that it can help us understand the present. Mr. Murphy does a great job of making that connection, but you’ve got to read the author’s note, or you’ll miss it!

Check out The Giant! It’s full of lies! I’ve got a copy in Room 3!

Keep reading!

The Giant and How He Humbugged America

By Jim Murphy

112 pages

Genre: Nonfiction; history

Source: NetGalley

On shelves now!


One Response

  1. Awesome review, Mr. S.! You make me want to re-read this book, this time thinking about that slippery line between nonfiction and fiction.

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