Jack the Ripper

208p. (History's Worst). bibliog. chron. further reading. glossary. notes. websites. S. & S./Aladdin. Aug. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481479448; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781481479455.
Gr 7 Up—People often exhibit a macabre fascination with history's most heinous acts—and the crimes of Jack the Ripper are no exception. Aimed at an upper middle school audience, this addition to the new series sheds light on the serial killer who terrorized London in the late 19th century. The descriptions of the murders are not for the faint of heart, as the details are quite gruesome and gory. The title starts out at a fast clip, taking readers through the different murders, but the narrative soon lags as the author goes through the many theories about Jack the Ripper's identity. The text almost begins to read like a research paper, recapping tidbits from many other sources, rather than an original work of history. Also, the book is sorely missing archival illustrations or photos. However, readers who enjoy the true crime genre or are interested in the topic will gravitate toward this selection.
VERDICT Given the lack of true crime materials for this age group, librarians may want to consider this for their collections. Otherwise, seek out Bridget Heos's Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Homes to DNA.

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