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The Giant and How He Humbugged America (edition 2012)

by Jim Murphy

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667180,945 (4.06)None
Member:catherinea
Title:The Giant and How He Humbugged America
Authors:Jim Murphy
Info:Scholastic Press (2012), Hardcover, 112 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:RICBA 2012, non-fiction, upstate New York, 1869, hoax, fraud, Cardiff Giant, William

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The Giant and How He Humbugged America by Jim Murphy

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This is a very quick read for elementary students. Jim Murphy does a great job telling the story of the Cardiff Giant, which fooled many people in 1869.

Read the rest of my review at: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/the-giant-and-how-he-humbugge... ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
Grades 5 - 8

A fascinating look at how George Hull spearheaded a huge hoax on Americans when a 10 foot 4 inch "petrified man" was dug up in 1869 at a New York farm. Jim Murphy includes abundant copies of newspaper articles, carnival flyers, and photographs as he takes readers on the journey from the "discovery" of this ancient man to the unraveling of the hoax. Give this to readers who are convinced that they don't like nonfiction-- the author's conversational tone and the subject matter will win them over. Murphy notes that his research into this famous hoax was inspired by the 2008 Bernie Madoff scandal, and includes a section on other famous hoaxes through the years.
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  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
A great story about a bodacious 19th century hoax in upstate New York involving several fascinating characters, including that greatest of all hoaxsters P.T. Barnum. Murphy shows how people will talk themselves into believing anything when they want to. A great companion to Candance Fleming's The Great and Only Barnum. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
This fascinating, little-known piece of American history is explored in detail in Jim Murphy's new book, accompanied by great photographs and memorabilia from the time. For another very interesting but obscure bit of history, try The Great Molasses Flood: Boston, 1919 by Deborah Kops. ( )
  DeweyEver | Feb 11, 2013 |
How big can a story about a Giant get? That is the question that is at the center of Jim Murphy's book. The author describes to readers a little known performance that entertained millions during The Civil War Era. This performance was a hoax that fooled those millions into believing a statue was actually petrified human remains of a giant. Sounds ridiculous right? Well that's exactly what keeps readers interested.

Murphy's dramatic style of writing brings otherwise mundane details to the forefront of his book. With every chapter, Murphy details the story of The Cardiff Giant hoax, while keeping as true to the story as possible. There are moments where Murphy ad-libs some dialogue to make the story more dramatic, but I found that to be the charm of the book. It's as if a ringmaster was constantly wrangling the audience's attention and leading it to the next performance or chapter.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and although it is geared towards lower grade students, I think it can certainlt be used in an upper grade classroom. The style of writing and historical implications of the hoax are interesting points to examine. I would use this book to examine these concepts in depth, but also to show students a different type of nonfiction work. As I see it, everyone enjoys a good show, and Murphy is a gracious master of ceremonies. ( )
  dareone32988 | Oct 12, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439691842, Hardcover)

Two-time Newbery Honor Book author has written an amazing account of one of America's most famous hoaxes!

When a 10-foot tall purported "petrified man" is unearthed from a backyard in upstate New York in 1869, the discovery immediately turns into a spectacle of epic proportions. News of the giant spreads like wildfire, and well over a thousand people come to view him in the first five days alone!

Everyone has their own idea of his true origin: Is he an ancient member of the local Onandaga Indian tribe? Is he a biblical giant like Goliath? Soon the interests of world-renowned scientists and people from around the globe are piqued as arguments flare over who he is, where he came from, and if he is real--or just a hoax.

In a riveting account of how the Cardiff Giant mystery snowballed into one of America’s biggest money-making spectacles--and scams--Jim Murphy masterfully explores the power of 19th-century media and the unexpected ripple effect that a single corrupt mastermind can produce when given a stage.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:56 -0400)

A description of the Cardiff Giant mystery in which a man in upstate New York buried a ten-foot-tall, petrified model of a man, which was discovered by well diggers a year later, and set into motion a money-making spectacle.

(summary from another edition)

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