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Vlad the Impaler: The Real Count Dracula (A Wicked History)

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  275 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
- Opening quote by or about the featured villain/villainess
- Historical map, annotated with key locations from person's life
- A Wicked Web featuring allies and enemies
- Historical photos and etchings
- Boxes with additional information
- Photo documentaries: six to eight pages of photos and captions telling the person's life
- Timeline, glossary, additional sources
- Engaging
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Franklin Watts (first published September 28th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mr. Kovach
Why do we like reading books about bad guys, even totally evil guys? My guess is that there have been more books written and read about Hitler than almost anybody. Vlad Dracula, the subject of this book, was almost as bad, if only on a smaller scale only because he did not conquer as much territory. Truly evil people, yet fascinating to read about. Maybe it's because after you close a book about these evil men and slip back into your own existence, the people you know, and the life you lead, is ...more
While it was a nice outline of Vlad's life, it left a lot out, and found it to be extremely biased towards Vlad being the most evil person ever to live. Even though at the end they did the whole pretend debate as to whether or not he was pure evil. As far as how factual the book is, I really don't know. There were no foot notes, end notes, bibliography list, or even a blurb on who the authors were and why we should believe them. While a work of non-fiction, there was a lot of conjecturing, and n ...more
Fiona Burgos
Feb 22, 2017 Fiona Burgos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Vlad the Impaler: The Real Count Dracula" by Enid A. Goldberg is a stunning book. Vlad's real name is Vladul, and the original story of Dracula is based on him. Vladul enjoyed war. He was a very powerful man, and won many wars. When Dracul was young, he was sent away to an Ottoman Empire in Anatolia because of their father. Their father, Dracul, sent them away for his life. If he misbehaved, his sons would get punished. After he was released, he pushed his brother out of the way and became kin ...more
Dec 30, 2016 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The authors attempt to take the brutal life and times of Vlad Dracula (means little dragon) and water it down enough to tell children about the person they are fascinated with. They are successful in that endeavor, but what is left is just ramblings about who betrayed who. It ends up being a bunch of ancient men running around Europe killing each other - sounds just like any other war...
Christine F
Nov 20, 2015 Christine F rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2017 Ami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great and simple intro to Dracula, especially if your kid is just getting into monsters or history. I am a little disappointed in the lack of detail in a few places, even with my understanding that this book is geared towards a younger audience. All in all I'd still have this be a "pick".
Laith El-Tayyeb 12/18/14
ELA DiDonato GoodReads Review Green
Vlad The Impaler, by Enid A. Goldberg and Norman Itzkowtiz is an interesting nonfiction novel, that narrates Vlad Dracula and his life in Transylvania. Vlad and his family tree was mostly around Turkey. Vlad could read and write perfect Turkish. Vlad was sold into slavery after birth by his father Dracul. His father sold Vlad and his brother into slavery to regain his power. Dracul would gain back prince of Wallachia in exchange for Vla
Feb 21, 2016 Lars rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This biography taught me about the life of Vlad The Impaler, or Vlad Dracula. Vlad father was a man who was part of the dragon knights, a group of soldiers who pledged their trust to help the Holy Roman Empire against the Ottoman Empire. When Vlad's father was captured by the Turks, Ottoman Empire, the only way he would get freedom was by giving his 2 sons and gold to the Turks. The 2 sons, Vlad Dracula and Radu, grew up learning to fight, and learnt how to speak many languages and got a good ed ...more
Alec Curtis
Apr 05, 2016 Alec Curtis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads-11-20
Vlad, a prince in Wallachia, was sent to the Ottoman Empire by his father in exchange for his fathers release. He was raised and taught all the Turks ways. Ultimately he claims the Wallachian throne and backstabs the Christians and the Ottomans based on who he thinks will win each war. After going back and forth he supports he Christians and attacks the Ottomans. When the Ottomans respond he has no allies, no one is willing to support him because of the cruelty he has shown as a ruler. He was ch ...more
Becca Purse
May 25, 2016 Becca Purse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-1-10
Have you ever wondered if the tale of Count Dracula has some truth to it? As it turns out, there was a real Count Dracula of sorts, his name was Vlad Dracula. Vlad, also known as Vlad the Implaer, was a ruthless leader whose desire for power led him to take thousands of lives. He claimed power of a city called Wallachia in modern-day Romania. He reigned for only a short time, but the atrocities he committed are still remembered even today.

This was an interesting read. I am a fan
My child needed to do a book report and wanted it to be different from the others. We found Scholastic's - A Wicked History series and we figured that no one else would think to pick someone like Vlad the Impaler. Is everything 100% accurate? Probably not, considering he was alive in the 1400's and not everything was recorded or recorded accurately. Let's be honest and admit that even things reported nowadays are not always 100% accurate. Is this an interesting story for teens who want to read a ...more
Eh, this wasn't bad, but it could have been better. At times it got a bit too technical, which is odd as the sentence structure remained quite simple, so it was a basic book that verged on too advanced simultaneously. There is violence in here, obviously, and Vlad obviously had some very serious problems with being a mass murderer, sadist, torturer, etc., though his childhood certainly pointed him strongly in that direction. The peritextual elements are good here, with photographs of statues, pa ...more
Nice overall biography of Vlad that should work really well for middle school age kids--hits the major points of his life, without becoming bogged down with too much extra information that may confuse younger readers.

It's not too graphic, at least in my opinion, but it did outline the various ways people were tortured/executed back then, and I could see where some folks might find that a bit off putting. So use your own discretion as to whether you think it's suitable for your children.

Arham Kashif
"Vlad the Impaler: the Real Count Dracula" is a fantastic book that explains the life of Vlad the Impaler briefly and in super detail. From Vlad's childhood tragedies to his action-filled adulthood, this book covers everything from Vlad's life. The amount of cruelty and torture Vlad dished out at people in his surroundings is another key point that is emphasized on in this book. In my opinion, this biographical book is absolutely incredible because this was the first time I heard of Vlad the Imp ...more
Amy Carr
I am always on the look out for books that will appeal to the "reluctant" boy reader...and when I came across this series of books at a Scholastic warehouse sale they immediately caught my attention with their "shelf" appeal...the title and topic alone were intriguing. But WOW...this book was way too intense for my taste. It is a biography about the real Count Dracula and while it is written on a middle school reading level, the subject matter is way too graphic and gruesome for me! I'm not sure ...more
Kailey M.
Mar 12, 2013 Kailey M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I was a little unsure when I first saw this book and decided to give it a go. I don't usually like vampires,zombies and other scary things and this was certain to be no better. I was shocked to find out that an actual person existed in this world at some time that people felt was as evil and vicious and cruel as the actual Hollywood Dracula was. The book was compact but the impalement's and torture explanations were more than enough for me. There were lots of sections that really grossed me out ...more
Oct 13, 2009 Crystal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, guy-reads
This series will draw in readers with its dark humor and factual information. It makes good use of graphic images and maps to help tell the story. The information is good, and should be enough for middle schoolers. The author presents the facts, allowing the readers to decide if the person was wicked or not. Also helpful is the index, glossary, list of sources and suggestion for further reading.

It held my attention well and I am looking forward to reading the other titles in this series.
Jun 03, 2013 Cinnapatty rated it it was ok
I happened up on this book in the 10 day loan quick pick section of the library. Serendipitous timing as just the night before I'd listened to one of the Nielson twins talk about this very man!

It was informative. A good history. Interesting that this man is who Count Dracula is based on. The back of the book contains great flow charts and timelines and a quick rundown of why and how he's the "original" Count Dracula. Probably could have looked at that first instead of wading through the facts an
Jan 14, 2008 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 4-8 (and any college student taking western civ.!)
Recommended to Trevor by: Dustin Wilder
Shelves: kid_lit
Can a book about such a horrible person be delightful? HELL YES! This is the first "A Wicked History" series book I've read, and it really does a fine job of placing the infamous Vlad Draclua in his historical context. The slim volume also has a "web" rather than only a straight timeline, because, let's face it, time nor history operates in a linear vacuum. There are plenty of illustrations and images as well. Very cool book.
When it comes to history books, I bore easily which is why I usually turn to juvenile or young adult titles. They are what I call "history light": the basic information without all the extras. This title has nice timelines and maps to guide through the life of Vlad. In general the book is concise although at times some of the rumors come across as fact. Other than that, I recommend the book along with the others from the series "A Wicked History".
This young adult biography is well written and brings to life the world of Vlad Dracula. It traces the life of this feared ruler from his childhood until his untimely death. Historical details about the world in which he lived add to the story. Included in this short biography are woodcuts depicting scenes of events which occurred during Vlad's lifetime. A great biography for teens who are interested in the real Count Dracula.
Feb 29, 2016 Fatima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book a man named Vlad III had his story told. Vlad was called Vlad the impaler because he would impale his enemies and thats how he got the nick name Vlad the impaler. I learned a lot about Vlad from this bookI learned that he had a twisted sense of humor about the people he impaled. I would recommend this book to people who like horror, vampires and also people who want to learn more about Vlad the impaler.
Kate Hastings
Feb 28, 2008 Kate Hastings rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like being confused

A very confusing book for being so short in length. I might try another in the series, though. Love the covers and the topic--wickid people from history.

The problem I had with this book is that the first and second chapers jump around chronologically and that there are lots of Vlads running around. Vlad Dracul (the impaler's father) Vlad Dracula (the impaler himself) and then a dude names Vladislav and then Vlad the Monk, his half-brother. A bad, I mean Vlad, book.
Bass Drop (Joshua)  Burda
It felt like a adult book with how they explained this, but it all feels like a child's book when Enid decided to not put really complicated words in it. You can't. Do that.
It was really creative though how Enid tried to explain the whole Dracula thing. He however didn't fulfill of the connection of vampires and him. With his/her explanation, you should have thought Vlad as a Vampire SLAYER. What kind of vampire would carry the very thing that they have a weakness to?
Amanda Northrup
The second half of the book totally captivated with stories of the cruel deeds of Vlad the Impaler. However the first half was really difficult for me because it described the various allegiances in the Ottoman and Byzantine empires. Not having much prior knowledge about this subject, I got frequently confused.
Sep 11, 2011 Moe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: duh-6th-grade
At first it was just a book about how Vlad made his way to becoming very popular, the ruler of Walachia. He started doing cruel things to animals and then humans. I didn't know that someone could come up with so many cruel ways to murder people. I also learned that Dracula means "little devil" and he certainly deserves that name.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Quinton Cole
Nov 08, 2011 Quinton Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, young-adult-lit
picked this book up in a scholastic mag. looked like a fun little book. interesting! great story and history, makes you wonder and be glad we live when we do. i want to get the rest of the series and read up on all the crazy bad guys of history. great facts and accounts of events. i would suggest this book to any boy looking for a guy who knows what he wants and
Meagan G
This book is a quick read if you are looking to learn something about this guy but not read too deep. Great for younger people. I marked it scary because these people were real! And that is truly scary.
Stephi K.
This book was a good history of Vlad Dracula, which I've been interested in since I read "The Historian". Not a good book for kids, though (despite the eye-catching cover). My 12-year-old read it before me and said he almost threw up reading it. It's pretty brutal.
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