Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures, by Carlyn Beccia

by Carlyn Beccia
Houghton Mifflin
Copy borrowed from our library.
Brilliant! Gross-out books are always good for bringing in the reluctant readers, and we love it when, as the disclaimer warns, "Side effects from reading this book may vary. Patients may experience rapid brain growth."

Rather than just list some of the odd, disgusting, or plain funny remedies used throughout the ages for colds, coughs, or cuts, Beccia lists a few and asks readers to guess which ones actually worked. In the following pages, she then briefly explains why maggots can actually be good for you, or when it can be good to dangle a frog down your throat. A little bit of science and physiology seeps in betwixt shuddering at the thought of drinking urine or drilling a hole in your skull. We learned quite a bit ourselves! This might even be a fun pop-quiz read-aloud for teachers - have your students write their answers down before you read the explanations.

This could make a good Christmas gift paired with, depending on age, a game of Operation, a play doctor's kit, or some gummy frogs. We give it a

5 out of 5.

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