Ick! Yuck! Eew!: Our Gross American History

( 1 )


In history class, you've studied people who lived long ago. But do you know just how gross daily life was in the United States around the time of the American Revolution?
• People rarely bathed.
• They didn't wash most of their clothes regularly.
• Their teeth were rotting.
• Bedbugs feasted on people as ...

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In history class, you've studied people who lived long ago. But do you know just how gross daily life was in the United States around the time of the American Revolution?
• People rarely bathed.
• They didn't wash most of their clothes regularly.
• Their teeth were rotting.
• Bedbugs feasted on people as they slept.
• Lice crawled through their hair (and their wigs) day and night.

Ready to step out for a breath of fresh air? Well, look out, because the streets were filled with poop. Don't believe it? Hop in a time machine and travel back to June 1770 in the pages of this book!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
Cures for diseases have been developed over time and our understanding of the importance of keeping the earth clean has grown. This book serves to provide insight into these changes. Before flushing toilets, people used chamber pots and left them under the bed. In the morning, they poured the contents of the pot out the window. As Huey notes in the title, “Eew!” Modern readers know such actions are unsanitary, and here we find out more about the potential problem they caused. We hear in the news about cases of bed bugs, but in earlier American history, these pests lived in everyone’s bed with no form of relief. The foundation of this book comes from the true facts presented, but the printing takes the book to a higher level of understanding. The artful use of gross-looking fonts and close-up photographs of critters such as lice and bedbugs makes the reader want to vomit--or share the book with a friend, immediately. The orange background indicates strange and weird facts that no one wants to know, but cannot wait to read. Unfortunately, vocabulary words do not show up in the text unless the reader explores the back of book. Reviewer: Julia Beiker AGERANGE: Ages 8 to 12.
Kirkus Reviews
Huey, an archaeologist, explains just why time travel is not for the weak of stomach. Ah, the pleasures of a quick trip back to the 18th century--when people emptied chamber pots out of windows, free-roaming animals dumped poop on city streets, clothes were seemingly designed to be uncomfortable, and baths were rare (but infestations of lice, bedbugs, flies and intestinal parasites were not). Images of bugs scuttling over period illustrations and photos of pests and artifacts add vividly evocative notes to this rousingly unappetizing survey of the time's fashions, living conditions and (lack of) sanitary practices. The author limits her purview to North American residents of European and African descent in, by and large, urban locales and doesn't always get her facts straight (yes, there are mosquito species native to Europe). She strews her already sensational narrative with superfluous, boldface insertions of "Eew!" and "Gross!" Still, aside from one photo of a smallpox sufferer that may cross over, she ably walks the line that separates deliciously disgusting from genuinely disturbing. Riveting as well as enlightening, this is built on a largely sturdy historical base. (endnotes, annotated reading and website lists, places to visit, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761390916
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/2013
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 255,075
  • Product dimensions: 10.05 (w) x 10.23 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I¿ve always wanted to travel back in time to a more peaceful str

    I’ve always wanted to travel back in time to a more peaceful stress-free existence. Until I read this book!
    Now, I know about ‘The Yucky Past’, ‘The Awful Smells’, ‘The Creepy-Crawly Bugs’, “The Nasty Germs”, and so much more! 1770 was not as romantic as it seems in the books.
    This book is really well done. It completely grossed me out but the pictures, the graphics, and the short interesting segments make it perfect for you reluctant reader or history buff!
    My middle-schooler is going to love this book!


    Author: Lois Miner Huey
    Source: Millbrook Press via Netgalley
    Grade: B+
    Ages: 12+

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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