Caught!: Nabbing History’s Most Wanted

Crown. Sept. 2019. 224p. bibliog. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781524767419.
Gr 4-9–Bragg’s previous two books, How They Croaked and How They Choked, can sit comfortably next to the newest companion focused on a handful of history’s most wanted. Famous criminals like Jesse James and John Wilkes Booth are mentioned, but there are also lesser-known individuals like the Pearl Harbor spy Bernard Kuehn and Anna Anderson, who spent most of her life pretending she was Anastasia Romanov. In Bragg’s signature style, each person is introduced with an illustration, followed by a brief biography focused on the subtitled topic of “nabbing history’s most wanted” interspersed with lighthearted art and ending with a spread of facts, statistics, and defined jargon. Nothing is more captivating than Bragg’s storytelling. As a package, the book’s 14 personalities spanning 1412–1899 are collectively fascinating under the umbrella of unenviable criminality. In some cases, the accusations outweighed the truth. Individually, the book can provide background to a historical time period or material for a biography. Nonetheless, Bragg reins in the humor and delicately balances the facts with a lighthearted but reverent tone that offers historical context and thoughtful perspective.
VERDICT Do not escape purchasing at least one copy for public and school libraries to round out a collective biography section. This can be used for a read-aloud or a history revealed display

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