Raucous Royals: Test your Royal Wits: Crack Codes, Solve Mysteries, and Deduce WhichRoyal Rumors are True


What is in a rumor? Carlyn Beccia invites us to look more closely at all rumors and consider how the truth can become twisted over time in this one-of-a-kind combination of nonfiction picture book, graphic novel, and tabloid magazine.

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What is in a rumor? Carlyn Beccia invites us to look more closely at all rumors and consider how the truth can become twisted over time in this one-of-a-kind combination of nonfiction picture book, graphic novel, and tabloid magazine.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The energy and gleefully gossipy nature makes this a fine companion for Krull's Lives of . . . series, while its verve particularly recommends it as an entree into historiography and critical thinking."—The Bulletin
Kirkus Reviews
Riding in on the coattails of the Horrible Histories and their ilk, here's a Tudor-centric set of historical rumors that Beccia breezily substantiates, dispels or leaves for readers to mull. Along with some of the usual suspects-was Prince Dracula a real vampire (conclusion: real, yes; vampire, no), did Richard III murder his nephews ("You decide"), did Mary Queen of Scots plot to kill Queen Elizabeth ("Unconfirmed")-the author offers such juicy morsels as the supposition that Louis XIV bathed but thrice in his life (false), Napoleon was a squirt (not really) and Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake" (also false). Despite unusually careless proofing, this makes a proper anodyne for staid conventional textbooks. A rich array of comically caricatured figures in elaborate period dress heightens the humor, and though Elizabeth I gets a disproportionate amount of attention here, readers will also come away with a notion or two about Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and several lesser celebrities from centuries past. (resource lists) (Nonfiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618891306
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Carlyn Beccia made her picture book debut with the captivating Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo? The idea for The Raucous Royals, her second book, came after a trip to Paris: "I went to Versailles," she writes, "and discovered that Marie Antoinette never said her infamous line 'Let them eat cake.' Then I remembered also believing that Anne Boleyn had six fingers. After much digging, I discovered that one of her biographers after her death said she had an extra nail. A nail isn't a finger. That discovery led to another rumor and then another . . ." Besides painting, drawing, and researching royalty, Carlyn enjoyssalsa dancing, horseback riding, and raucous games of badminton with her husband. She lives in Lynnfield, Massachusetts.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    I really, really enjoyed THE RAUCOUS ROYALS, which is funny since I don't enjoy historical books all that much. But author Carlyn Beccia has turned this book into an interactive experience, and it was so much fun to learn that the things I had always taken as truth weren't always true after all! <BR/><BR/>For example, I had always heard (even in school!) that Napoleon Bonaparte was short. But using today's measuring standards, he'd be 5'6", which although isn't the height of an NBA starter, definitely isn't short! <BR/><BR/>Many people attribute the line "let them eat cake" to Marie Antoinette, since philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau had claimed in 1766 that Ms. Antoinette had suggested, quite flippantly I might add, that the poor who had no bread should instead eat cake. Not true! No one really knows why this saying has survived throughout history, but poor Marie has been getting a bad rap for ages! <BR/><BR/>Henry VIII had six wives, and it's been said that he liked to behead them with an ax. The truth, though, is that only one of his wives, Kathryn Howard, was actually beheaded this way. Although, if you ask me, one beheaded wife is more than enough! <BR/><BR/>Anyone with an interest in history, royals, or just plain old fun historical detecting is sure to enjoy THE RAUCOUS ROYALS. With clues, games, trivia, and much more, this is one book that's more than just a dry history text. A perfect book for either a classroom or personal library!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A Raucous (and wonderfully illustrated) Distillation of Rumors

    The Raucous Royals is given life by the prodigiously talented Carlyn Beccia, who wrote, illustrated and designed it. Accordingly, the book has a remarkable integration between text, design and art. The book is designed to look like part tabloid magazine, part graphic novel, part Ye Olde Master homage. <BR/><BR/>The core of The Raucous Royals is how history is "a Distillation of Rumors."* Beccia writes: "Once a rumor is born, it never truly dies. Before television, tabloid magazines, and the Internet, rumors about royalty were started by clever jingles, silly cartoons, small books called pamphlets, and simple word of mouth." From there, she deconstructs over a dozen rumors from the last five hundred years, starting with Vlad the Impader and finishing with England's unfortunate George III.<BR/><BR/>It's a fun romp, made all the livelier by Beccia's knowing wit and clever art. All the wives of Henry VIII are there, including Anne Boleyn and her supposed sixth finger. Elizabeth and her cousin Mary Stuart are presented in a Rashomon-like format. I especially liked Beccia's explanations of some of the stranger health obsessions of times past, such as "The Boil Butt Beautifier." Apparently Louis XIV was prone to nasty boils on his... well, you get the idea!<BR/><BR/>A few rumors are lightly glossed over because of the juvenile market constraint. For example, Beccia plays coy in her presentation of Catherine the Great's supposed death-by-horse. The rumor she offers: "Catherine the great empress of Russia, died after being crushed by her horse." Um, well, only half the story there. But how else could you explain this to a G-rated audience without tipping toward a racy R rating? It's a tricky thing -- and this is one tale from history that is just too juicy to leave out.<BR/><BR/>I think The Raucous Royals would make a delectable gift for any history fan, especially if they're on the younger side. So highly recommended for the holidays, birthdays and beyond. I can imagine many a juicy school report being fueled by it.

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  • Posted November 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fit for a Prince/ss

    A fun and enjoyable read, testing readers knowledge of the royal families including several instances where there not enough evidence to support nor deny the rumors therefore leaving the decision up to the reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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