Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gross America

This book is quite entertaining, but, as the title indicates, Gross America is pretty disgusting. Richard Faulk has taken the time to examine all things gross, icky, and quirky across America. With over half of the states represented here, and lots of details, Gross America is a unique look at American culture. There are some yucky features, such as the Hair Museum of Missouri,the Corpse Flower which smells as bad as it sounds, the world’s largest fungus in Oregon, and the fake vomit manufactured in Chicago. There are also some interesting highlights that aren’t necessarily gross, but just odd. For example, the Albino Redwoods of California, candy coated insects, and Hawaii’s Kalaupapa leprosy settlement. Normally I get easily grossed out, but for the most part, this was an engaging and interesting read highlighting spots across the country that I had never heard of (after reading about them, it is pretty obvious why many of these are not hot destinations). Overall, this book was really interesting. At times it was a bit more scatological than I was really prepared for, but an average high school boy would love this, so I am excited to bring it to my classroom. There are a few pictures, and the book is well organized and easy to read, but at times, the concepts are a bit mature and as a result, this isn’t really suited to young children.

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