All The Dirt: A History of Getting Clean

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All the Dirt: A History of Getting Clean by Katherine Ashenburg

All the DIrt by Katherine AshenburfStars: *****

Annick Press (2016)
104 pages

Summary: All the Dirt is a lively, informative exploration of the evolution of personal hygiene. Starting with a number of myths about cleanliness, the author gives a quick overview of the topic. Throughout most of history, people rejected the notion of keeping clean, with some exceptions—the ancient Romans were obsessive about it.

Readers will discover how the definition of cleanliness in one part of the world may differ radically from another. In Zimbabwe, for example, cleanliness means coating your washed body with a mixture of oil and dirt!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

All the Dirt

I had no idea what a crazy history we have when it comes to bathing and personal hygiene. I thought I knew a lot about how people lived in the different time periods when it comes to hygiene (or the lack thereof) but I learned a LOT.

The book is written in such a way that it would be very interesting to a kid although I could see some of them shy away from the subject matter thinking it’s uninteresting. They would be wrong. There is no shortage of gross tidbits of information that would interest any kid.

The book breaks up the information not only into chapters and sections but also into sidebars and two page spreads with funny illustrations or photos of interest. The book also includes stories to show what life was like at that particular time period.

The book is designed for ages 10-14 and I have to say that is definitely the best ages for this book although I’m 35 and I enjoyed it immensely. The author, Katherine Ashenburg actually has written an adult book on the subject as well called The Dirt on Clean. I haven’t read it so I can’t compare but if you are interested in the subject and want something more indepth, check it out. If you want funny illustrations and jokes, read this one.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.