Wretched Ruins

Wretched Ruins

by Steven L. Stern

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Laura Backman
Remains of ancient civilizations hold keys to mysterious histories of vanished cultures. Readers will glimpse abandoned ruins such as the Lost City of the Incas. In 1911, explorer Hiram Bingham discovered the deserted city, Machu Picchu, Peru, high in the Andes Mountains after it had been forgotten for 400 years. The remnants of the city included approximately 200 stone buildings such as houses, palaces, and temples. But what had happened to the people of Machu Picchu? No one knows for sure. The mysteries of the eleven desolate places featured in this title, one of eight in the Scary Places Series, will keep young readers turning pages, wanting more. The two-page spreads show full color and black and white photos of the ruins and their locations. This does not allow for a lot of depth and may leave some reader disappointed, having more questions than answers, just as their interest has been piqued. Text features include a Table of Contents, Glossary, Bibliography, Index, and About the Author paragraph. A world map shows the global scope of the locations in the title. Sections entitled Read More and Learn More Online allow readers to research additional informational. Bearport's online links include a Crossword puzzle based on the glossary, kid-friendly links to three of the featured ruins, as well as links to the other books in the Scary Places Series. Reviewer: Laura Backman
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Dark Labyrinths explores the creepiness of underground tunnels, shelters, and cities that have been long buried. Particularly compelling is Budapest's ancient, naturally made tunnel system nicknamed the Labyrinth of Courage, which hid civilians during World War II. Other underground places described house ghosts, glowing worms, and, in Colorado Springs, a satellite tracking center to warn the United States of impending missile attacks. Wretched Ruins provides brief profiles of 11 sites, including some in Iraq, Peru, Jordan, Chile, and Greece. On each spread, a paragraph outlining the location and the ancient peoples who inhabited the area is superimposed on a full-page, grainy photograph. It faces a short history of the site's discovery and possible explanations for its construction, juxtaposed with a close-up or detailed, clearer photo that further illustrates the place's "wretchedness" or "mystery." Some spreads include a factoid on theories such as the one that aliens built the Easter Island statues. A closing spread offers a world map that indicates each location. These eye-catching books will work well with reluctant readers and have enough shock value to inspire them to do further research.—C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY

Product Details

Bearport Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
Scary Places Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.21(w) x 10.16(h) x 0.30(d)
IG840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

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