They Lost Their Heads! by Carlyn Beccia

They Lost Their Heads!

From the kidnapping of Einstein's brain to the horrifying end of Louis XIV's heart, the mysteries surrounding some of history's most famous body parts range from medical to macabre. Carlyn Beccia explores the misadventures of noteworthy body parts through history and springboards to exploring STEM topics such as forensics, DNA testing, brain science, organ donation, and cloning. The engaging tone, wonderfully creepy subject matter, and delightful...

Details They Lost Their Heads!

TitleThey Lost Their Heads!
Release DateApr 3rd, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury USA Childrens
GenreNonfiction, History, Childrens, Middle Grade, Science, Historical, Juvenile

Reviews They Lost Their Heads!

  • Kate
    Fascinating. Disgusting. Keep your mobile device close because you’ll be google-ing yourself down a rabbit hole for sure!
  • Kathy Martin
    Filled with twisted humor and all sorts of facts about body parts, this book was a quick and entertaining story. While I read it in one sitting, I can easily see that it would be possible to pick this book up and read a page or two at a time without confusion. The book is quite episodic with selections ranging from a paragraph to three pages or so. Each selection describes what happens to a famous someone's body part or it talks about burial cust...
  • Sean Jenkins
    They Lost Their Heads by Carlyn Beccia is a hilarious book, I love how the author leaves little notes in the side, which always cracks me up. This book tells the story from beyond the grave and teaches how death works and examples of it like what happened to George Washington’s teeth, Einstein's brain and more! My favorite part is where she talks in detail about decomposition then makes a note on the side saying sorry she made a food reference ...
  • Mary
    A fun, informative read full of fascinating historical anecdotes and gross tidbits. I wish it were a tad shorter but I'm guessing this will be a hit with my elementary crowd.
  • Sarah
    Lose "crazy," "nut-job," etc. Almost entirely western.Not entirely correct about Nelson.
  • Ismaeel
    This was a cool historical book that was funny. Like, actually funny. This made me laugh out loud sometimes. I was absolutely devastated when it ended and would gladly buy about three different copies! I recommend it for ages 10 +. You really should know who some of these people are before your read this book. And it is okay if you don't know these people, because you are never going to know some of these people. But, either way, it's still a gre...
  • Charlotte
    If you like historical trivia of the icky and macabre sort, you will enjoy this book very much. I am please to know that Galileo's severed middle figure salutes the heavens to this day.
  • Alissa
    Perhaps it IS a bit early for the macabre, but it's also a bit too early for so much pumpkin spice*. So I'm just going to go with it.You know what they say about life being stranger than fiction? Well the decidedly morbid content of They Lost Their Heads: What Happened to Washington's Teeth, Einstein's Brain and Other Famous Body Parts is truly better than anything the Horror Movie industry could cook up. Here, author Carlyn Beccia has collected ...
  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    Beccia, Carlyn They Lost Their Heads! 165 pages. NON-FICTION. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018. $19. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence PG.After you read this book, you will either be the most popular or least popular guest at a party, depending on how many facts from this book you decide to share. And there is so much to share! Who knew that Ines de Castro, who was beheaded on orders from her future father-in-law, would be all dress...
  • Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh
    This chronological stroll through history, focused on anything to do with bodies and body parts, combines entertaining with bizarre. The first story tells of the lovely Ines de Castro, whose exhumed corpse, seated on a throne in 1355, was crowned queen -- two years after she had been assassinated! The final example is that of Thomas Alva Edison whose last breath was captured in a test tube for his best friend Henry Ford to keep. The structure, co...
  • Christy
    In "They Lost Their Heads," Carlyn Beccia serves up a heaping helping of stomach-churning accounts of the severed body parts of famous (or not so famous) folks. The genius of this book is how the author uses the "gross factor" to entice readers (target audience, grades 5-8) to learn and ask questions about history and science. Further leavened with snarky footnotes, the book covers such tales as the strange fate of Albert Einstein's brain, the th...
  • Natalie {I'd So Rather Be Reading}
    Full Review HERE 😂😂😂The graphic is liitttt! 😂😂😂Gross. Fascinating. Odd. Unbelievable. I READ EVERY WORD!This book causes severe "googling" and really brought out my Southern drawl as I kept saying things like: "Oh no they didn't" or "Bless their hearts".I have also lengthened my bucket list because you know I want to track down Elvis' mole. 😂😂😂 I couldn't even type that without cracking up! Dang people are so weird! If ...
  • Emesskay
    In the tradition of "Horrible Histories" - humorous history detailing what happened to famous historical figures various body parts. Contains some gross-out humor, so not for those with delicate sensibilities. Excellent and entertaining footnotes. Besides discussing what happened to body parts, it also discusses some historical medical events, such as phrenology or grave robbing, in order to give some context to why someone would steal Hayden's s...
  • Julie Overpeck aka Mrs. O's Library
    Thank you to @kidlitexchange for a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.This middle-grade nonfiction book covers all sorts of strange events involving famous people and their parts like Vincent Van Gogh’s ear and George Washington’s teeth. Some of the stories deal with death, and others just deal with the strange. The back notes that some of the topics could be springboards to exploring the STEM topics of forensics, DNA, and othe...
  • Emily
    How They Croaked was better. I enjoyed the book until I found a fact that said that Diego Rivera ate cadavers. After further investigation, my husband discovered that Rivera really exaggerated in his autobiography, and it probably wasn't true. Regardless of whether or not it was true, it should have been researched better by the author... I wouldn't have probably included this fact in the book. After that, I didn't really trust it anymore and dec...
  • Mrs.
    A book for the not-so-faint-of-heart but a definite book for those who look for horror or humor or mystery when it comes to death or body parts. Loved the mystery stories behind Lincoln's body being moved 17 times or the mystery of did John Wilkes Booth really die in that fire. I skipped parts that dealt with the more gruesome. Definitely, a book that will grab middle school reluctant male readers interest.
  • Teri Reck
    Absolutely excellent book--humorous and intriguing. I bought it from our Scholastic Book Fair for my forensic anthropologist daughter, but I enjoyed it tremendously myself. Truth most certainly is stranger than fiction. Also fun to read about some items in the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, which I have had the good fortune to visit. Some may find it terribly macabre or just plain weird, but it is fascinating. A very worthy, very quick read.
  • Michelle
    #kidlitexchange #partnerThank to @kidlitexhange for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, as always, are my own.Ghoulish humor, clever writing, and fun illustrations add up to a great historical facts book! They Lost Their Heads is all about history’s body parts and the crazy situations they end up in. This one is a real kid pleaser but smart and funny enough for adults to enjoy too. A great edition to any non-fict...
  • Melissa Orth
    Perfect book for booktalking to 6th grade. Short chapters on the disgusting details of famous people and their bodies upon death. Fascinating but limited in information, this is a great book to hook young readers into wanting to learn more about funeral practices, George Washington’s false teeth and more.
  • Linda Donohue
    Definitely a morbid book written in good humor. Many interesting stories. I most enjoyed the DNA testing that was conducted on a number of people. Middle schoolers will enjoy the book. I received the book as a Goodreads Giveaway and I thank the author and publisher for the opportunity to read and review the book.
  • Lisa Kizer
    This book had interesting "facts" about dead bodies. Not always a reliable read, the author says "I can't have a little thing like dubious sources spoiling his fun" when she discusses parts of his book may not be entirely correct. I do like the fact that she encourages her readers to do independent research - even if it is a google research!
  • Tracey
    Interesting, gruesome, and hilarious! My favorite is how the author often warns the reader not to eat while reading the next part--and then goes on to compare severed body parts or insides to food. Don't forget the footnotes!
  • Jessica
    Interesting read. Definitely geared towards middle-schoolers, probably boys. It was an easy read for an adult. It explains terms clearly. It injects humour into the life and death of many famous people. It does not get too gory. I learned a few things.I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.
  • Kim
    Great for fans of Bragg’s How They Croaked. It was disgusting and fascinating. I really enjoyed it! My only complaint was the author’s footnotes. Some of them added to the text but most were just an annoying distraction.
  • Aditya
    This did not just tell me about body parts but also about the history of the people with the body parts. I recommend you to read this book really good book!
  • Castle Spooktacular
    Pure Perfection! Offbeat, Oddball, and Unusual stories about famous body parts from all over the world.. cool illustrations, great content, and casual yet informative writing. Loved it!
  • Lynette
    Middle school and high school students who enjoy history would enjoy this book.
  • Aimee
    Similar to How They Choked by Georgia Bragg. Wouldn't recommend to younger than teen due to some content.
  • Missy
    My boys loved this. And it's a bearable combination of interesting, gross, educational, witty and historical for moms at bedtime.
  • Helen Thompson
    A great read with lots of morbid facts.