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How They Croaked

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous - Georgia Bragg, Kevin O'Malley

How They Croaked is written with a light-hearted tone; Bragg is able to embed humor whilst detailing the gruesome deaths of history’s most famous figures.  Boys who are drawn to gory, disgusting tales will certainly not be let down. They will have much delight when they read each chapter like that of King Henry VIII, how is believed exploded inside his coffin (p.38).  Girls can be attracted to the book’s conversational but humorous style, not to mention their curiosity might be sparked by the warning on the book’s jacket: “WARNING: If You Don’t Have the Guts for Gore.  Do Not Read This Book.”  The front cover depicting a human skeleton dressed in a doctor’s outfit lets the reader know that the book will entail medical facts about their deaths, and so children who are interested in learning about history and medicine are sure to pick up this book from their library’s shelf.  The black endpapers also clue in that the book’s overall theme will be death.  The black and white portraits of each of the famous person allow the reader to speculate on their demise.  A two page spreads follows each chapter, and provides supplementary information.  Both boys and girls ages 10-14 will enjoy reading this engaging book full of well researched, but gross facts.