SCAMS! by Andreas Schroeder


Age Range: 10 - 14
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The author of several titles on like topics for adults boils down ten modern tales of large-scale chicanery, from P.T. Barnum’s relentless promotion of Jumbo the Elephant to a massively successful Nazi effort to counterfeit British currency, from the Shakespearean fakes of William Henry Ireland to the supposedly cave-dwelling Tasaday tribe. Schroeder turns each “sting” into a ripping good yarn, generally, though not invariably, starring a bold, clever Robin Hood who draws some combination of widespread fame, high social standing, and vast amounts of cash or credit, then comes to a deserved (not always entirely bad) end. Orson Welles’s “War of the Worlds” broadcast also gets a gripping rendition, though it doesn’t really belong with these more intentional frauds. There are Lessons here, but the compelling presentation makes them far easier to swallow than the moral and ethical chunks in conventional Chicken Soup–style “values” reading. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-55037-853-8
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Annick Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2004


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