My mind has been distracted and confused (more so than usual) by the busy-ness of organizing the Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Cybils nominations, and (the Shame!) by the fact that, thanks to a tweet a while back from Liz, I have discovered Candy Crush on Facebook. Sigh.
Happily today I have a book received from review that is fairly straightforward to write about--it's more a "this book is in the world" post.
Dare to Look is the latest offering from Ripley's (September 10, 2013), and if you have seen one of their books, you'll have a good idea of the mind candy/image and fact explosion/startling, disturbing, fascinating content that these books offer. This one is no exception. Some things are grotesque, like the guy who holds the record for most clothes pegs attached to the face--161, some are scary, like a Swedish evil clown who gets hired to terrify children at birthday parties, and some are very side-show-esque, like a real "wolf boy"--a man suffering from "werewolf" syndrome, and a man who ended up with a big toe where his thumb should be, and vice versa....
I myself enjoy the more historical trivia sort of facts than the "freakish" ones; I can't help but feel a bit voyeuristic looking into the eyes of the Wolf Boy, for instance. On the other hand, he's making a living from his difference, and it was his choice to be in the book...so it might well be the sort of thing that could lead to a Profitable Discussion with a handy child about how strange and quirky things happen in some people's bodies and, those these things might be odd, they are superficial differences and there it is, and one says "huh" (or other interested but not judgemental noise) and moves on.
Although I get a bit dizzy reading the Ripley's books cover to cover, I do enjoy dipping into them. Here is something that I had somehow missed at the time--in March of 2012 Camilla the rubber chicken was launched by NASA to the edge of space to test levels of radiation during an intense solar storm. I think it is great that NASA has a sense of humor, and I truly appreciate that someone make her a knitted sweater. (She parachuted safely back to Earth).
NASA's image of the day website, which, for some strange reason (sarcasm) isn't loading today).
Disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher