Monday, October 17, 2011

The Dreadful, Smelly, Colonies

I came across the Fact Finders Disgusting History series and decided to preview The Dreadful, Smelly Colonies: The Disgusting Details About Life in Colonial America (Disgusting History)prior to purchasing it. It sounded like it would be similar to the You Wouldn't Want series in providing an entertaining but informative look at American history for children. However, I have bought on impulse and been disappointed with the outcomes. This would have been a good impulse purchase.

Unlike the You Wouldn't Want series, this book uses more realistic drawings and photographs to illustrate the topic. While the title is designed to be shocking, the information is accurate and factual. The first section of the book discusses the shelters that were built when settlers arrived in the various areas of the country and why those shelters were chosen. The author discusses topics like disease, insects in your food, and the building of privies for bathrooms.

The book also addresses indentured servants and the fact that slaves originally could purchase their freedom until laws were changed that took away that possibility. This is an area not often discussed in history texts for children, which made it an interesting choice to add to my purchases for Christmas.

Challenges with diseases, travel, and the relationship with Native populations are not ignored in this book. For a short book that could pass as a picture book from the outside, it covers a good deal of historical information in an appealing format for children. While I passed on it when purchasing some other books, I will be adding this to my list of Colonial History books to pick up for Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. I have not heard of this series, but do love reading about settlers. I will have to check that out! Thanks for the review!