The Great and Only Barnum is a MUST READ.

9 Sep

So there’s one simple truth that EVERYONE needs to understand about reading:  Nonfiction RULES.

That’s why it drives me completely nuts to see twelve-year-olds rotting their minds with Riordan books.

When there is an entire world full of interesting TRUTHS to read, why would ANYONE want to waste their time on myths—-especially cheesy myths about lightening bolts being stolen and demigods on sightseeing expeditions across the country?

Need a bit o’ proof?

What would you say if I told you about an entertainer that swallowed live frogs in front of an audience, only to throw the stunned little critters back up later to use in the next performance?

What would you say if I told you about an eleven foot elephant that jumped in front of a train in order to save his handler and then reached out with his trunk to hug a friend just before he died?

Or what would you say if I told you about an amazing museum with an aquarium on the bottom floor, a zoo on the top floor, and a collection of bearded ladies, tiny men, and fat boys in-between.

All of those stories are real—and they’re all a part of the life of PT Barnum, the showman almost singularly responsible for bringing circuses and odd museums to America during the 1800s.

Barnum is an incredibly interesting dude.  He made millions and lost millions.  He swindled people and was swindled himself.

But alongside his love of making money, he loved making people laugh.  That’s his real legacy—-and it’s the real reason that you’d be crazy NOT to read The Great and Only Barnum, one of the best biographies I’ve picked up in a long, long time.


The Great and Only Barnum’s Score: Way 80



5 Responses to “The Great and Only Barnum is a MUST READ.”

  1. kristin September 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    Mr. Ferrtier i am thinking about reading this book because it seems very interesting and i thought the review on it was great. It really made me want to start reading the book the second i finished the review. Thanks for writing this review and getting me interested in reading The Great and Only Barnum because it will be another great book i will get to have a chance to read. Plus i like to read non-fiction books and i will get to learn how some words were discovered like the word Jumbo you told me about.

    • wferriter September 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

      No worries, Kristin! I really hope you pick up the Great and Only Barnum only because I want to know if you like it as much as I did!

      I’m definitely biased towards non-fiction, so I always need someone to “check me” and let me know if my opinions about the titles that I love are accurate.

      Looking forward to hearing what you think,
      Mr. F

  2. Lara K. September 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    I am pretty astounded by what you have told us in class, Mr. Ferriter, and this review is great. There are a lot of reasons that nonfiction is awesome, because it is actually TRUE, and you find yourself blinking hard and going, “Did that really happen?”
    One of the things that I was most interested in was how Jumbo the elephant practically invented the word Jumbo!

  3. Alexa S. September 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    I read the Great and only Barnum and it was spectacular.

    I am not really into non-fiction but Candace Fleming (author) makes it as interesting as the kind of genres i like to read (fiction).

    P.T. Barnum’s life was so great and interesting.

    That book was so amazing that i read it in a day and a half. I hope you keep recommending books for us because this first one was awesome!

    Thank you so much!

    Alexa S.

  4. Matthew W. September 29, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    If you like that book I would suggest Harry Houdini by Vicki Cobb

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