Happy Book Birthday to Christine Virnig and her book Dung for Dinner.

During World War II, the German soldiers stationed in North Africa were getting deathly sick with dysentery. They noticed that the local Bedouins seemed to get over it quickly. After careful observation, they learned that the Bedouins cured this debilitating intestinal infection—by eating warm, fresh camel poop.

You will find this and countless other gross, disgusting, disturbing examples of how people have used poop and pee in all kinds of ways including in perfumes. You will also learn about Greek mythology, ancient Egypt, and animal biology.

Christine Virnig is a pediatric allergist and her love of science and medicine (especially ancient bad medicine) shines through. She writes these stories as if she’s standing in front of a class of fifth graders trying to get them to laugh, then gag, then laugh again. Every chapter ends with an amazingly corny joke, the kind that will be sure to make you groan. If I was a kid, I’d want her to be my doctor.

I highly recommend Dung for Dinner to readers eight and up. This is gross science at its best. Strong stomachs required.


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