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School Library Journal11/01/2013
Gr 3–6—From gladiatorial games to BASE jumping, these books recount both historical and contemporary dangers. Each title covers at least eight topics, most in spreads with one page that has a few paragraphs that describe the danger and the other with a full-page photo or illustration. Text boxes provide additional anecdotes and facts. Brutal Games! is heavily weighted toward contemporary extreme sports, and all the books focus on fairly recent and mostly American history. Although there are some interesting tidbits (e.g., the American presidency rates as a historically dangerous job), these volumes offer neither exciting characters nor the gruesome details that so fascinate children, and they don't contain enough information about individual topics for reports.