Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How They Choked - Georgia Bragg & Kevin O'Malley


How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous
by Georgia Bragg
Illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
Walker Books for Young Readers, 2014. 208 pages.

From the same author-illustrator team that brought us How They Croaked comes this book that focuses on the mistakes and mishaps of "awfully famous" people. The introduction warns "Nobody's perfect; get used to it". That warning is relevant as some of our favorite famous people, including Amelia Earhart and Charles Dickens, are portrayed in a more negative light than we are used to. While the negativity is somewhat depressing, I think it's valuable to realize that everyone makes mistakes and has flaws or shortcomings, sometimes within their control and sometimes not. The writing is absolutely captivating and the illustrations are delightfully macabre. There are gross details of death and sickness akin to How They Croaked, so this is not the book for the squeamish. Overall a fascinating and entertaining biographical collection.

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