Friday, March 4, 2016

Strange Stories, Amazing Facts: 4/31 #solc16

When I was a young kid, my grandpa moved and we acquired some of his books in the process. One of those books was this Readers's Digest compilation called Strange Stories, Amazing Facts. 

The subtitle, "Stories that are Bizarre, Unusual, Odd, Astonishing, Incredible...But True," says it all. I could not get enough of this book as a kid. I remember poring over the stories with utter fascination. A few of the stories even prompted me to further research. One, in particular, was the story of Bridey Murphy. It is about a 1950s housewife who agrees to undergo hypnotic regression, but the weird part is that the hypnotist regressed the woman before her birth, and to his surprise, a person with a thick Irish accent who called herself "Bridey Murphy" began to speak. He had regressed her into a past life! What?! My young mind was blown! I immediately went to the public library and got the book called The Search for Bridey Murphy to find out the whole story.

I was also captivated by the story of the Romanov family and their execution, especially the mystery of whether the daughter, Anastasia, survived and the family's relationship with the creepy Rasputin. When my 8th grade teacher assigned us a history research report, I knew this would be my topic. For a time, I may have been the youngest expert on Russian history in the state of Ohio.

Recently, I came upon this book once again while looking for another book in my basement. Running my fingers over the cover, memories of late nights spent sucked into these stories came back to me and I decided to share this book with my students.

It's been a week since it's been displayed on a shelf in my classroom, and each day I've seen student after student pulled into the mysteries of this book. One student looked up at me this morning and said, "This book is awesome! Where did you get it?"

What fun it has been to see the enjoyment this book brings. And, who knows, it just might spark some further inquiry in my students like it did in me.


  1. How great that you can show your students something that you loved at their age. It shows that good literature is timeless...I want to find this book now too!

    1. I looked to see if it was available on Amazon and it was for $6 and some odd change!

  2. Oh, I love this post! I can just imagine the hours of enjoyment you got from that book. I love that your passion for these stories inspired you to dig deeper. What a delight that a treasured book from your childhood can excite students in your class today! Great slice!

  3. When we can pass on books and ignite that fire for reading in a child, we have done our duty. I love this slice for the memories it invokes in me. Long loved books are treasures meant to be shared.

  4. These words stood out to me: "For a time, I may have been the youngest expert on Russian history in the state of Ohio." I could imagine you swallowed up whole by your most beloved books. That is a wonderful treasure to share with students.

  5. It's so fun to revisit and think about the stories we enjoyed reading growing up. How fun, to watch your students enjoy it now.