Series Review: Weird America

I have always been fascinated with the odd, the weird, and the bizarre. I was the kid that could be found scouring the Guinness Book of World Records for interesting minutiae, reading Ripley’s Believe It or Not cover to cover (multiple times!), and filing away interesting or strange trivia tidbits to find a way to bring them into conversation.

So, when the Weird America series arrived at my desk, I was instantly interested. The series is broken down into six “America’s Oddest” areas: Foods, Hobbies, Holidays, Landmarks, Laws, and Legends. Here are some highlights:



Foods: I had to know what the monstrous cake-like thing on the cover was. I learned that it is a cherpumple, which is a word made from combining cherry, pumpkin, and apple. This concoction has a pie of each of those varieties baked within three different kinds of cake, and is then stacked upon each other, and finally, frosted and served.

Hobbies: It is good to have a hobby. And if you are looking for something a little different from your typical sport or stamp collecting, look no further! You might be inspired by one of the entries here, like toenail collecting, eggshell carving, or mustard collecting.

Holidays: This title makes it easy for you to find something to celebrate. Love peanut butter? Well, November is Peanut Butter Lovers Month. Want to celebrate Ice Cream for Breakfast Day? That is the first Saturday in February. Admittedly, I don’t find these examples too weird, but others like Don’t Step on a Bee Day (July 10) and National Nothing Day (January 16) fit that bill.

Laws: When traveling, it is important to know the laws of the land. Weird America educates you that it is illegal in Hawaii to place coins in your ears. In Alabama, it is illegal to wear a fake mustache in church!

Landmarks: If you are taking a road trip this summer, maybe you would like to visit the world’s largest pistachio (Alamogordo, NM)? The world’s largest tooth (Trenton, NJ)? These are just a couple of weird things you can find on the roadside.

Legends: Go beyond Bigfoot and learn about other legends such as Florida’s “Swamp Ape”, Wisconsin’s “Beast of Bray Road”, and New Jersey’s “Jersey Devil”.

I had a great time reading these titles, and I would think these would appeal to anyone interested in the offbeat. Reluctant readers in particular should gravitate towards these, as they are visually appealing and a lot of fun.

America’s Oddest Foods by Joe Yerdon.  9781482440133. Jan 2016. Gr 3-6.

America’s Oddest Hobbies by Michael Canfield. 9781482440171. Jan 2016. Gr 3-6.

America’s Oddest Holidays by Erika Edwards. 9781482440218. Jan 2016. Gr 3-6.

America’s Oddest Landmarks by Sarah Machajewski. 9781482440256. Jan 2016. Gr 3-6.

America’s Oddest Laws by Michael Canfield. 9781482440294. Jan 2016. Gr 3-6.

America’s Oddest Legends by Caitie McAneney.  9781482440331. Jan 2016. Gr 3-6.


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