Sunday, October 6, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Two Creepy Titles from National Geographic

That's Creepy
written by Crispin Boyer
2013 (National Geographic Kids)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Check out Nonfiction Monday at Shelf-Employed

Time to get your creepy on, folks. That's Creepy will provide you with the real life back story of several infamous creeps. The book starts with vampires. My favorite section is titled Original Fangsters. On this page, you learn about two predecessors of Vlad Dracula (aka Vlad the Impaler). Lilith was a Sumerian monster from around 2000 B.C. that preyed upon its victims at night. Lamia was a snake-tailed former girlfriend of Zeus who drank the blood of victims until they perished. I didn't realize these tales had such early origins. There are seven other chapters in this book with subjects like werewolves, unicorns, UFOs, ghosts, and hoaxes. Special Agent Jeeper of the CIA (Creepy Intelligence Agency) will periodically show up to cry "bogus" when a tale lacks reason. Ethel the E.T. is an alien that will share more disturbing facts. This is a book for those students who like the macabre. It's full of historical facts which might attract a student who normally isn't that interested in doing research. I would stick to students in middle grades or above since the subject matter can get pretty gruesome.

Weird but True! 2013
written by Cheryl Harness
2013 (National Geographic Kids)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

300 facts abound in this fun book that will keep the attention of nonfiction fans. Starting off the weirdness is the fact that tomatoes were considered poisonous until the 1800s. Other weird happenings:
  • Bull leaping is an actual sport. Somersaults over the backs of young bulls. Alert ESPN. 
  • Tsar Peter the Great was an amateur dentist. I'll pass on that dental plan!
  • An ancient Roman wedding tradition was for the groom to smash a barley cake over the bride's head. Very romantic.
  • Hannibal would launch pots of poisonous snakes at enemy ships. I would prefer snacks. 
I like the format of this book in that you could easily duplicate it with your students. It would be fun to create an animal "weird facts" book in Writer's Workshop for example. Weird but True will be a popular title with your students. 


  1. This a great time of year to feature That's Creepy! I hope I get my copy in time for Halloween.

  2. Perfect fit with Shelf-Employed's featured NF Monday book!


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