Monday, August 20, 2012

Non-Fiction Pick: The Giant and How He Humbugged America

The Giant and How He Humbugged America
by Jim Murphy
Scholastic Press
112 pages

Available October 1, 2012

In 1869, a New York farmer uncovers a petrified giant man when digging a well on his property. Word soon spreads about this ten foot discovery. Could the giant be a member of the Onondaga tribe? Why is he buried here? Was he a victim of a murder?
Within hours, the farm is overrun with people clamoring for a gander at the local wonder. As the news begins to spread, thousands of thrill seekers show up and even scientists travel to see if this discovery is real? Or could it be an elaborate hoax?

Pretty soon, even P.T. Barnum ( of circus fame) is interested in making money from this discovery. Slick men with even slicker motives begin to make money off the Cardiff giant. Believers come forward and swear the giant is real. Pretty soon, the story begins to unravel and accusations begin to fly.

Recommended for readers who love strange and bizarre historical events. This book gives readers a glimpse into the news and media of the 1800s—when a few people could dream up a money making hoax and make it last for a little while. Although they were found out, they go down in history for dreaming up a truly authentic scam.
Middle grades and up.


  1. Oh, I love historical oddities like this ... definitely sounds like a very interesting read! :)

  2. I can't wait to read this one. I love non-fiction for the middle grades and this sounds like one they will really enjoy.