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Judy Dodge Cummings is a writer and former history teacher from Reedsburg, Wisconsin. She has a MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Teens from Hamline University and is the author of numerous nonfiction books on historical topics. Her other books in the Mayhem and Mystery series are Great Escapes: Real Tales of Harrowing Getaways and Rebels & Revolutions: Real Tales of Radical Change in America.
School Library Connection
"This series will engage middle grade readers with intriguing retellings of diseases, disasters, and explosions. Each book contains an introduction followed by five chapters, with well-told stories that unearth specifics even the most knowledgeable readers likely haven't heard of--even if the basic facts, dates, or figures of the past are generally well known. Topics include Black Sunday, the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon, and the Spanish flu. The narratives are packed full of descriptive, graphic, and sometimes even gruesome details, but the chapters are broken into manageable sections that make the information easier to digest. A map and timeline begin each chapter, but only a smattering of photographs accompany the text. Additional Resources. Glossary. Recommended."
Examining natural and man-made disasters, these entries in the Mystery and Mayhem series open an engaging window into history that will attract reluctant readers. Readers will find a solid mix of familiar and little-known incidents. The text is careful to acknowledge the sociopolitical climate of each time period, pointing out the many instances of racism. Even for non-history buffs, interest is bound to be piqued.
2019 Kansas NEA Reading Circle Award Winner Recommended title - Junior-level
VOYA Magazine April 2018
The ongoing Mystery and Mayhem series from Nomad Press has four new titles. Each book has an introduction, five chapters about separate events, a glossary, and a resource page. In chronological order, each chapter tells about a different historical situation, making it memorable and often thrilling or frightening. Author Dodge Cummings, a former history teacher, uses both famous and little-known events as the basis for storytelling. These are fascinating, enjoyable books well worth having in any library collection serving young readers
Literary Merit: Good, Recommendations: Yes for those who like true accounts, Reading Level: YA, High School, Adult
Tomb Raiders: Real Tales of Grave Robberies, by Judy Dodge Cummings, explores many graves/tombs that have been the site of robberies. The book explores stories from Jamestown, where some gruesome events took place, a plot to steal the corpse of Abraham Lincoln, tomb robbers of the ancient pyramids, and a few other mysterious stories. A few of the stories were a bit gruesome in detail, but easily kept my curiosity wanting to read more. Each story was presented with a great detail of historical information so the reader could easily understand the background that led up to the possible robbery/vandalism of a grave.
I like that this book was written and illustrated in black and white. That goes well with the grave robbery theme. I enjoyed all the images, the maps to show locations, and the historical information presented throughout the book. Each story started with an image of the location and then a zoomed out image of the world with a star marking, "You Are Here". This was a nice what to see the location on a larger scale.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and learning about some of these, very different, events. (**** )