Tuesday, July 12, 2016

WHO WINS? By Clay Swartz / Author Guest Post

Today I'm so thrilled to have author Clay Swartz stop by Mundie Kids to tell us more about his book, Who Wins?, which is out TODAY! Take it away Clay!


Who Wins? is a children's history book that makes learning about history cool. Readers will mix and match 100 historical figures in 50 competitive categories, from ping-pong to climbing Mount Everest. 

Ever run out of made-up stories to tell your kids at bedtime? That’s exactly how Who Wins? came to be. I started telling my daughter stories about real-life historical figures such as Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Marie Antoinette, Nellie Bly, and more. Pretty soon, these famous folks were competing against each other in wacky hypotheticals. My daughter loved it, and so did I. The book features more than 100,000 possible matchups that I hope you and your kids can laugh and bond over too! Here are five of my favorites from the book:

1. Who Wins the Hunger Games: Sacagawea or Florence Nightingale?
If you're familiar with the Hunger Games series, you know that winning isn't always about being a skilled warrior. That's why I think Sacagawea and Florence Nightingale are two wholly interesting figures in this particular competition. Each are tough, smart, and incredibly skilled at healing. Plus, they'd each work well in groups. If i had to pick a winner, I'd go with Sacagawea. After all, she survived a two-year journey through the uncharted American West, surviving animal attacks, sickness, and unpredictable weather along the way.

2. Who Wins in Stand-Up Comedy: Mark Twain or Muhammad Ali?
Each of these men were known for their extreme wit and extreme confidence, and stand-up comedy is the ultimate showcase for each. For this competition, I like to picture a Comedy Central Roast-like environment with Ali and Twain each delivering barbs back and forth. I know I'd hate to be in the audience for fear I'd incur their wrath. My winner? Ali. No one had quicker wits and more self-confidence than the boxing legend.

*Illustrated by Tom Booth

3. Who Wins at Curing World Hunger: Marie Curie or Nikola Tesla?
Oh how I wish this was a real competition, because I think these two would have a real shot at conquering whatever they put their minds to. Tesla was one of the greatest inventors and technical minds in human history, and Curie was one of the top scientists of the impossibly science-rich 20th century. Their various skill sets and talents would make them a great team, but in this competition, there's only one winner. I'd choose Curie. She was renowned for her selflessness and devoted her life to helping others.

4. Who Wins a Race Around the World: Amelia Earhart or Neil Armstrong?
This one is just plain fun. Earhart was one of the earliest celebrity pilots, setting world records for speed and distance. And Armstrong? Well, he was the first person to go on the moon! Plus, he was a decorated Navy pilot for years before joining NASA. Also, a race around the world would likely require an ability to chat with locals and an all-around good demeanor. Each had both in spades. My winner is Armstrong, thanks to his global celebrity status. But, if you choose Earhart, I wouldn't argue.

5. Who Wins as a Member of The Avengers: Mohandas Gandhi or Wyatt Earp?
Which of these guys make a better member of the superhero squad? What I like about this matchup is that the answer depends solely on how you would approach battle. If you're more of a pacifist, you pick Gandhi, because he would help calm the waters in just about any skirmish. Want to go to battle guns blazing? Choose Earp. The Old West cowboy was famous for his toughness, machismo, and unmatched marksmanship. Since The Avengers already have Hulk and Thor, I'd want Gandhi. 


By: Clay Swartz
Illustrated by: Tom Booth
Published by: Workman Publishing
Released on: July 12th, 2016 - TODAY
Ages: 10 & up 
Purchase fromWorkman, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Mixing and matching 100 historical figures in 50 competitive categories, from Ping-Pong to climbing Mount Everest, Who Wins? turns history into a compelling game, which means kids learn while having fun in the process. Each of the famous people is given a short bio and ranked in six categories—bravery, leadership, artistry, wealth, wisdom, and fitness.

And because there are no right answers, the reader decides, and in the very act of deciding and justifying the answer, real learning has taken place.


Clay Swartz is a writer, forever on a quest to make history cool for kids. His book, Who Wins? (with illustrations from Tom Booth), will be available from Workman Publishing on July 12. Clay is also an associate editor at Boys’ Life, and he can be found @ClaySwartz.

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I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~