JACK THE RIPPER  by Michael Burgan


From the "History's Worst" series
Age Range: 10 - 14
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As a detailed chronicle of the crimes attributed to one of history’s most infamous serial killers, this otherwise episodic account of Jack the Ripper is effective.

In a few months in 1888, the killer dubbed Jack the Ripper by the press preyed on women in the dark, foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district, leaving no witnesses or clues to his identity. Sensational newspaper accounts of the gruesome murders and relentless speculations on the killer’s identity enthralled and terrorized Londoners. Burgan vividly recounts the crimes attributed to Jack the Ripper in grisly detail. He also discusses the many names put forward as suspects—some reasonable and some, such as Lewis Carroll and a grandson of Queen Victoria, quite outlandish. One curious detail Burgan reveals is the role anti-Semitism played in identifying possible perpetrators, a factor often missing from other accounts. Since Jack the Ripper was never caught or identified, he continues to fascinate, and his continuing prominence in popular culture is discussed, as is the work of “Ripperologists,” amateur detectives devoted to finding out the murderer’s true identity. Although full of fascinating information, the lack of a cohesive narrative can make for toilsome reading.

An interesting but not especially compelling account of a monstrous villain who continues to fascinate. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4814-7944-8
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Aladdin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2017


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