Subscribe to The Horn Book

Juicy history

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.

Katrina Hedeen About Katrina Hedeen

Katrina Hedeen is associate editor of The Horn Book Guide and manager of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind