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The Stone Giant

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A true story about one of the greatest hoaxes ever. In the 19th century, a man named George Hull carved a ten-foot-tall stone giant. He secretly buried it in the ground, then had it dug up, causing a huge sensation—people believed it was a genuine petrified man! The hoax grew bigger and bigger, and before long, P.T. Barnum got in on the action. When would America learn the truth? Mile 4 Road to Reading books help kids take the plunge into more complicated stories. Bite-size chapters make these books more ...
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Overview

A true story about one of the greatest hoaxes ever. In the 19th century, a man named George Hull carved a ten-foot-tall stone giant. He secretly buried it in the ground, then had it dug up, causing a huge sensation—people believed it was a genuine petrified man! The hoax grew bigger and bigger, and before long, P.T. Barnum got in on the action. When would America learn the truth? Mile 4 Road to Reading books help kids take the plunge into more complicated stories. Bite-size chapters make these books more challenging, while the full-color artwork helps readers understand the text.

Describes the Cardiff Giant hoax, in which people of upstate New York were fooled into believing that the petrified form of a giant human being had been uncovered from the ground in 1869.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Digging a well near Cardiff, New York in the late 1860s seems a simple enough process until the diggers unearth a giant ten-foot man made of stone. This page-turning chapter book is the true account of how scheming George Hull had the giant sculpted and buried in the first place. Also told are the events following the giant's discovery and George's success in making money from people willing to pay to see it. George sells partial rights to his giant to David Hannum. Following this action, circus mogul P. T. Barnum attempts to purchase the giant and then replicates it to make money of his own when he is denied. A court battle ensues over which giant is the "real" one and Hull's scheme is exposed as a great hoax. Although the public lost interest in the giant, the New York State Historical Association eventually brought it to rest and displayed it the way it looked when first dug up. This book will prove exciting for those children able to read chapter books on their own and for youngsters interested in historical factual happenings. 2001, Golden Books, $11.99 and $3.99. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In 1869, audiences flocked to see what was purported to be a petrified human giant, unearthed from a farm in Cardiff, NY. The "giant" was, in fact, a statue carved from gypsum, artificially weathered, and buried as part of a "get rich quick" scheme. So successful was the hoax that even circus impresario P. T. Barnum got into the act, making his own copy of the "giant" and claiming that it was the "real" Cardiff Giant. Finally, it was determined that both "giants" were fakes. The "stone giant" gradually faded into obscurity, but the original statue can still be found in a museum in Cooperstown, NY. This saga is dutifully related in short, mildly suspenseful segments for beginning chapter-book readers, with some difficult vocabulary (e.g., gypsum, quarry, fossil). Youngsters may find the shifting cast of characters and their travails confusing. The cover art and interior color illustrations are serviceable, but are far less effective at piquing interest than the four black-and-white historical photographs. This small slice of American history is tantalizing, but most noteworthy for the revelation that P. T. Barnum did not, as is widely believed, originate the phrase "there's a sucker born every minute." That distinction belongs to his rival, David Hannum.-Mary Ann Carcich, Mattituck-Laurel Public Library, Mattituck, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606189286
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Format: Library Binding

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