Poop Happened!

School wasn’t out for long last spring before you ran out of things to do. On the last day of classes, you had a list in your head of fun ideas but you were bored. So bored, in fact, that you actually paged through Dad’s old history books.

And while looking through those books, you began to wonder what life was really like long ago. If people didn’t have bathrooms, what did they do with their doo-doo? This fall, you can learn the answer to that, and other yucky questions in the new book Poop Happened! by Sarah Albee.

Humans have eliminated since the beginning of time, of course, but they didn’t write about it until kind of recently. We know that the Harappans built the first sewer systems five thousand years ago in Pakistan. In Henry VIII’s time, waste went straight into a river.

And that was a big, messy problem. Because most people didn’t care much about where their waste went, it usually went into water sources, which became contaminated. But over time, humans learned and by 1776, inventors were going with the right flow.

Still, things weren’t perfect. The White House has only had running water for about 150 years. Even your grandma might have used an outhouse as a kid, since just half of US houses had indoor plumbing in the 1930s.

Ain’t that the pits?

Does your child have a number-one interest in the history of going Number Two? Then Poop Happened! will satisfy his inquisitive mind in three different ways.

Without descending into coy, cutesy language, author Sarah Albee presents delightfully icky information to her audience in a way that will make them laugh as they learn, but that won’t shock adults who read it. And read it you will, because Albee’s childlike interest in little-known (but interesting) history is contagious for both you and your child. Add in a heavy dose of the Eeeeuuuuw Factor, and you know this is a book that curious kids (and adults) will love.

If your 9-to-14-year-old wants something unusual to read for fun, Poop Happened! just happens to be a good choice. Anything less would be flushing his time away.