Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Jersey Devil


Redmond, Shirley Raye. 2009. The Jersey Devil. Detroit: Gale.
ISBN:978 0 7377 4407 1
The Jersey Devil once terrorized the large area spanning across New Jersey's Pine Barrens from the Atlantic Ocean to Philadelphia, frightening residents and killing pets and livestock. In 1909, schools and businesses in the area were closed, and posses were formed to hunt down the mysterious creature, said to have been born in 1735.
What New Jersey student can resist the legend of the Jersey Devil? This book, part of the Monsters series, will help kids sort fact from fiction, offering facts to keep the legend alive, balanced with facts to foster a healthy dose of skepticism.
Quoting from period sources, and offering documented eyewitness accounts (including those by Napoleon Bonaparte's brother and a 1951 sighting by a boy in Gibbstown), Raye offers whatever factual information is available. She balances these accounts with possible explanations (could it be a giant sand crane?), and known hoaxes.
Fun facts are also included. New Jersey's NHL team is named after the Jersey Devil, the devil appears in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, and there are several Devil-inspired foods - the Jersey Devil sundae (with Devil's food cake, of course!) and the Jersey Devil cocktail.
This is a perfect book for younger students to develop research skills. The Jersey Devil offers a balanced view accompanied by Notes, Glossary, For Further Exploration, Index, and Picture Credits. Great for young NJ researchers and others interested in our most famous cryptid.
Note: The accompanying image is not the cover art, but rather, an image that appeared in a January 1909 issue of the Philadelphia Bulletin during the heart of the Jersey Devil terror of the same year.

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