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Cleanliness is next to godliness. At least that was the point of view espoused by John Wesley in 18th century England. But accounts of people bathing go back to the Bronze Age in the Indus Valley. All the Dirt on Getting Clean is a lively, informative exploration of the evolution of keeping clean. Starting with a number of myths about cleanliness, the author quickly establishes how our ideas have changed drastically over time, and how the definition of cleanliness in one part of the world may differ radically from another. There is just enough of a gross factor that the target audience of 9 to 12-year-olds will find the book as entertaining as it is enlightening. Colorful spreads, lots of sidebars, humorous illustrations, and photos make it ideal for browsing as well as reading in depth.
Katherine Ashenburg writes for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, and The Walrus and Toronto Life. She is the author of three non-fiction books for adults, All the Dirt on Getting Clean is her first book for young readers. Katherine lives in Toronto, ON, Canada.