Ripley's Believe It or Not! Download the Weird

There's a new Ripley's Believe It or Not! book out in the world: Download the Weird (September 11, 2012).  Those of you who are familiar with these books know how very kid friendly they are--leave out on your coffee table and it will invariably attract any fact-hungry, curious young readers (who don't mind a bit of grotesqueness) living in your home.  

They won't read it cover to cover (that would be a bit much) but they will dip into it repeatedly, drawn by the fascinating (how a California aircraft plant was camouflaged during  WW II), the remarkable (microscopic statues), the distressing (live amphibians and fish sold in gel packs as key chain ornaments) and the yucky (the extraordinary vomit artist).  It is not just straight weird factoids--as usual, there are interviews with some of the individuals featured, making them more three dimentional, and little side boxes of extra scientific information.

I asked my own resident fan what he thought of this latest offering; it turns out that is one of his favorites, because it references other types of media (ie,YouTube) of which he is an enthusiastic consumer.  

Here's what I myself learned:  there is an island in China that I have no desire to visit.  It is only 180 acres, but is home to over 15,000 deadly pit vipers.

And here's a final thought:  if you want to give a book to the sort of fact-hungry, curious kid as a gift, but aren't certain about what they've read and haven't read, a new Ripley's book is a pretty safe bet.

disclaimer:  review copy received from the publisher.


  1. I used to love reading Ripley's Believe it or Not in the Sunday funny papers when I was growing up. But your are right, all the kids in my family want these books - they just love them and I have to admit, reading a few this summer was kind of fun.


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