For my new job, all the librarians write a maximum 150 word review of a new book that came into the library during the month. I’ll be adding my contribution to the blog in a new feature I’m calling To the Point Tuesdays. If you want to play along, just post a link in the comments and I’ll add them to the post.

The GiantTitle: The Giant and How He Humbugged America
Author: Jim Murphy
ISBN: 9780439691840
Pages: 112 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., c2012.

Nichols had hit something solid. After banging his shovel on it several more times, Newell decided he’d hit a large stone and went to get a pick. While Newell was gone, his two workers continued to dig and clear the area around the stone. But they discovered something startling. The blue-gray stone was shaped exactly like a foot. A very large foot! […]

They worked quickly and managed to uncover the entire body in a matter of minutes. The diggers scrambled from the hole and all six men stood there, gazing in astonishment. Despite its being covered by a gnarly old tree root, they could see it was indeed a human body. A very old-looking one at that. And big. In fact, at ten feet, four inches long, it was nothing if not a giant. (11-12)

A New York farmer named Stub Newell enlists the help of some of his neighbors to dig a well for his farm in 1869. In the process, they discover a body of a man measuring over ten feet tall! Nearly impossible to keep secret, newspapers and so-called respected experts nation-wide weigh in with pictures and “evidence” on what the figure could be. Is it a petrified body? Is it some unknown ancestor to the Native Americans? Is it an engraving from some persecuted civilization? Or could it really be an elaborate hoax? In a time when science, archeology, and idea of specialists were just beginning, this convoluted tale of secret agreements, underhanded dealings and conflicting stories of authenticity became one of the biggest scams in America’s history.

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