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How They Croaked

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  5,616 ratings  ·  1,219 reviews
Over the course of history men and women have lived and died. In fact, getting sick and dying can be a big, ugly mess-especially before the modern medical care that we all enjoy today. How They Croaked relays all the gory details of how nineteen world figures gave up the ghost. For example:

It is believed that Henry VIII's remains exploded within his coffin while lying in
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by Walker Childrens (first published 2011)
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Popular Answered Questions
Matei Eliezer "Virginia [Edgar Allen Poe's wife] died of tuberculosis."
At first I skipped the part about him marrying a woman named Virginia, and I thus lost it…more
"Virginia [Edgar Allen Poe's wife] died of tuberculosis."
At first I skipped the part about him marrying a woman named Virginia, and I thus lost it because I thought she was referencing the state.
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  5,616 ratings  ·  1,219 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it

Remember when you watched Bambi for the first time and you got to the part where Bambi's mother died...And in that second you realized that if Bambi's mom can die, so can everybody else.
People have lived and they have died.

And before the modern era, they died a lot easier.

Seriously, there were A LOT of deaths thanks to disease, idiocy and lack of general hygiene.
Looking back from where we sit now, people a long time ago sure did some dumb stuff - and it's definitely the kind of stuff worth
Kaethe Douglas
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous 2011 October 4

One of the things usually left out of children's books is dying. Not death, characters are dead all the time, but the miserable, painful, agonizing bit of dying is usually glossed over. But kids like the gross, the agonizing, the unbelievable "who thought that was a good idea?" craziness of other times and cultures. Bragg has written a really entertaining book that manages to give the reader a look at what was laughably called
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A little gross at times, but morbidly fascinating. Great middle grade potential with exactly the sort of kids you'd expect to pick up a book with a skeleton on the cover.
This was a fun, light-hearted look at how many famous people died, but also how they lived & what they accomplished - why they were remembered. Suitable for the YA crowd or even a bit younger. Certainly not a complete history, but never boring. I could see this sparking a lot of interest in kids.
Jake Fujihara
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous was a great and interesting book. My personal favorite was the story of Albert Einstein. All of the other stories were about how they died, but Einstein's was about after he died. It was mainly about what happened to his brain, and the story was quite interesting and very descriptive. I also enjoyed how Georgia Bragg used so many replacements for the words "death" and "dead". Instead she used words such as "croaked", "kicked the bucket", and ...more
Wart Hill
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting and entertaining!
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
HOW THEY CROAKED isn't your typical nonfiction, in topic or in tone. With a voice that's frank, funny, and far lighter than its morbid topic, author Georgia Bragg delivers what's promised in the book's subtitle -- The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous -- and provides detailed, often delightfully gross stories about the way nineteen of history's famous figures met their demises. Included in the list are notables like King Tut, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Christopher Columbus, whose ...more
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-non-fiction
Fascinating! Disgusting! Thank goodness for modern medicine!
A fun YA novel/audiobook, but a little misleading at times.

Charles and Emma Darwin may have had three of their 10 children die, but the others were perfectly healthy, according to Wikipedia. They all went on to have very important lives as well. “The Darwins had ten children: two died in infancy, and Annie's death at the age of ten had a devastating effect on her parents. Charles was a devoted father and uncommonly attentive to his children.[15] Whenever they fell ill, he feared that they might
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
I have no doubt that students will like this book, but I found it annoying for several reasons. First, I have a problem with information books that fail to clearly cite sources for stated facts, and especially with those that share misinformation! This book does both, and I am seriously pondering whether to insert an errata statement or simply withdraw it from our collection. Additionally, I don't care for the sly, "wink, wink" tone of the author aside-riddled text that tries too hard for ...more
This was my 13th book for the YALSA Best Books reading challenge. I thought a gruesome book for the 13th would be fitting. I didn't expect to love this one. I did!

So this is a non-fiction book about how famous people died. It has loads of gory details about medical reasons that people such as King Tut or George Washington died. There are lots of random facts as well. And there is bit at the end about how all these famous people are connected. (Such as the fact that Napoleon read Caesar's books
What an original and very fun way to discuss history and important historical figures! Yes, it's slightly morbid, and there were times when I definitely said, "Ew, that's gross!" But it was also VERY interesting and educational - and humorous! Seriously, I can see kids being much more likely to be willing to read about these famous people in the context of their deaths (which are all fairly gruesome in one way or another) than in a "normal" biography. Plus each person's chapter is generally ...more
Loved, loved, loved this book. I think it's one I'm going to have to buy. If teachers would use books like this to teach history, kids would not be crying tears of boredom over every history lesson.

The authors craftily tell a brief history of twenty famous people and describe in detail their grisly ends. The treatments for people with disease were truly horrific. I do actually enjoy reading history books, but I left this book feeling like I'd gained a wealth of new information.

Each chapter
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How They Croaked is a exceptional novel that tells us readers "the awful ends of the awfully famous." From Cleopatra to George Washington, this intriguing novel gives you the inside scoop on the disgusting, atrocious, and repulsive deaths of the stars. Written by Georgia Bragg this superior anthology is packed with dreadful yet addicting short stories that will make you jump out of your chair feeling afraid, excited, and most of all, grossed out. Illustrated by Kevin O'Malley, the non-fiction ...more
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was awesome. It was irreverent and informative at the same time. I learned all kinds of things about the famous people discussed in the book. Like the fact that Charles Dickens was manic depressive and that James Garfield would have survived his gunshot wound if his doctors would have left him alone. There are fascinating facts about each of the people and they are in short little chapter so you are not overwhelmed with details. Bragg also adds little bits of information after each ...more
Aug 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: book club
"The cover of this book is pretty cool looking," so said my barely 7 year old grandson as he picked it up and started reading aloud as we drove home from the library. It held his attention for about 10 minutes until we arrived home and had to hurry and get ready for our next activity.

Author Georgia Bragg has written a chapter for each of the 19 famous people explaining a little about each and and how he/she died.

I think 7 year old Viktor may not be ready for this book until after a few
A skeleton dressed in a doctor's lab coat with cool font and a blood red background-- how can it first not get your attention and not make you want to pick it up?! What a neat book, a collective biography of historical figures and how they died. Each chapter is about four to five pages in length, set off with cryptic black and white sketches (including a full-page introductory sketch relevant to the story being told) filled with humor and factoids that are fun to collect and that ends with a ...more
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I find trivia interesting, I like learning about historical figures, and I guess learning about how people died is pretty interesting too. So basically, I enjoyed this book. However, possibly because it's written for a young audience, it seemed to me to be dumbed-down quite a bit. And while there is a list of references in the back, the book is written with such a tone of sarcasm that I often found it hard to believe some of the things the author wrote because they came off more as extreme ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it

Nothing life changing but it is filled with a nice introduction (and the ultimate conclusion) to a number of famous historical figures. This book is a little too focused on humor for my taste, but it is accessible and intended for a wide range of ages so it is definitely understandable.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a really cool book, borrowed from the library for a report my sister was doing. There are a few pages for every famous person and then at the end a list of facts and etc. Really interesting as well as humorous even when the death or life is more sad or tragic.
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fabulous. Both for kids, and for bored election judges on primary day.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Morbid, but I rather liked that.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a good book, it was kind of all over the place but enjoyable.
Kimberly Ann
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a book written for younger teens, but with the "attitude" of mid-teens. It is about the deaths of 19 famous people, including: King Tut, Cleopatra, Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, Pocahontas (ignorant author calls her "princess"...No Such Thing as a Native American "princess" in the 48), Mozart, George Washington, Beethoven, James a. Garfield, & Albert Einstein....
It amazing how many people died from lack of hygiene.... How uneducated "doctors" were, how many people were poisoned.....

Do you know how Edgar Allan Poe died? Well in this book it explains how he dies.Some say he died because he was a dunk. Scientist say he could have died of rabies.In the book it said "They put Poe in the hospital for 3 days. He didn't sober like he was sopose too." Rabies makes you feel drunk. Maybe that's why he didn't sober up it the hospital. This non-fiction book is great because it teaches the awful ends of the awfully famous(that means there deaths).

The author's purpose
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Bragg, G. (2011) How they croaked: the awful ends of the awfully famous.(K. O'Malley, Illustrator). New York: Walker & Company

Genre: Collective Biography

Awards: American Library Association Notable Books for Children (Winner 2012)

Format: Print –hardback

Selection Process: YALSA Teen Book Finder, Bowker Books in Print, Council Rock Summer Reading List 2011


Pus, boils, fever, poison. How They Croaked gives you the goriest details for some of history’s most famous heroes and villains
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
How They Croaked is a non fiction, shocking , sad, amusing, gross, absurb book, that leads you to storys about how the long ago famous people died. Each chapter is a different story about a different person. This book was very addicting and very hard to put down, once you started you had to keep on reading. How They Croaked was very facinating, it revealed informatoin that most people thought it was the other way around. When you read the book you don't always have to go in order becuase each ...more
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
(gr 5+)This irreverent, snarky view of the deaths of such historic personages, as King Tut, Marie Antoinette and Albert Einstein starts out with a warning: "...If you do not have the guts for gore, do not read this book." The author does not mince words, but does define the "new" terms used, such as "natron (saltlike stuff)," so this is very accessible to younger readers and will appeal to their sense of the horrific. But this is definitely not for the squeamish!

What I like best about this book
Melanie Bahena
Do you ever wonder, how some of our historys most important people died? I know I would wonder that at times! This is the book for you. It has the deaths of kings, queens, presidents, and so much more. Its gross, icky, and at parts makes you want to throw up.

The way the author described things, really made you want to throw up! I know at least 3 times during this book, i felt sick to my stomach. One of the really gross deaths that i think someone had was our first president George Washington!
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very humorous and quite informative non-fiction text about 19 famous figures from King Tut to Albert Einstein. "How They Croaked" takes the reader on a tour through history looking at a few key figures and how they met their fate. Some figures, such as Henry VIII, ate himself to death. Other figures, such as Cleopatra had a more tragic ending. Tough in a humorous and fun atmosphere, Bragg review some important historical facts and times.

The novel is well researched through a thorough index and
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Georgia Bragg’s father, mother, and brother are all artists, and Georgia is too. She was a printmaker, a painter, and a storyboard artist before becoming a writer. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, and two cats.