From the celebrity dirt of tabloids to government conspiracies, crimes that shook the world, and ethical outrages, Hallie Fryd’s Scandalous!: 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About (So You Can Impress Your Friends) (Zest Books, February) offers a delicious dish of infamous gossip from twentieth century for rumor-loving teens. The fifty highlighted events, presented in chronologically-arranged four-page sections, begin in 1906 with the murder of architect Stanford White by his ex-mistress’s husband and Upton Sinclair’s meat industry exposé The Jungle, and end in the year 2000, when five-year-old Elian Gonzalez sparked a custody battle between the Cuban and U.S. governments and the Gore-Bush election recount ended with a historic Supreme Court case.
Basics of each scandal are presented concisely with clear chapter headlines; famous primary source quotes; archival photographs; paragraphs on “what went down,” “the aftermath,” and “why we still care;” and a text box with examples of similar news-making controversies. Part light pop-culture diversion (Elvis Presley’s shocking hip-shaking, Madonna’s racy garb), part valuable history lesson (the trial and execution of the Rosenbergs, the National Guard shooting of antiwar-protesting students at Kent State University), Scandalous! serves up fascinating trivia to “impress your friends” with in an attractive, juicy package.
See Zest Book’s website for more “smart and edgy” teen nonfiction.