Thursday, August 21, 2014

Street Pigs and Euphemisms: a History of the Toilet

I have always been a bit squeamish. I don’t like bathroom humor, I’ve never laughed at a fart, and all but the tamest euphemisms for bodily functions tend to make me uncomfortable. Even typing the word fart in the last sentence made me cringe. So consider my surprise when the first book I fell in love with at Lerner was a book about toilets.




Remaking the John: The Invention and Reinvention of the Toilet is a fascinating account of human waste disposal from the time of hunter-gatherer societies through the present day. With great photos and entertaining anecdotes (I'm a fan of the street pigs of New York City), this is a book that details a variety of toilet types, hygienic advancements (and blunders), and a bevy of euphemisms for visiting the bathroom. I recommend it to all middle and high school students, including the most squeamish of readers.


But the best thing about this book (here comes the pitch!) is that Lerner has free (FREE), Common Core-aligned discussion questions, post-reading activities, and vocabulary exercises available for use.  You can check them out and download them here.  Follow the links in the right-hand side bar of the book’s product page to download a single eSource file or click here to download all available resources. 

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