Strange But True
Author: Donald Sobol
The first one is a book written by Donald J. Sobol (he also wrote the Encyclopedia Brown books) in 1974. I ordered a copy from the Scholastic Book order forms we got at school in the 70's. Strange But True: 22 Amazing Stories tells short tales about supposedly true occurrences. As an adult, I now know that truth can be stretched and that urban legends are often just stories that have been told so many times that people start to think they must be true. But, as a grade school student, I remember reading this book with wonder and excitement. I was thrilled that they might be true and enjoyed the tales just like I did other mysteries that are true like the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, or the vanishing of Flight 19. Many mysteries lose their magic with adulthood (when I finally visited Roanoke a couple years ago, I found it all surrounded by yachts of vacationing rich eastcoasters and built up with condos and beach rentals.....totally ruined the wonder for me), but these stories are still just as weird and wonderful for me as they were when I was a child. Maybe that's because I will never be entirely sure whether they are true or not? Who knows.
I have no clue what happened to my original copy. I might have given it away to a friend years ago, or it might be at my mother's house on a dusty shelf, or just lost to time. But I was ecstatic when I found a copy for 50 cents at the thriftshop. It now sits on my bookshelf next to the Little House books, Narnia and Mary Poppins. :) I'm a sucker for nostalgia.
This book is still a fun read for kids and adults alike, if you can find a copy. From the Loch Ness Monster and Abominable Snowman to ghost ships and Jack the Ripper, this book's tales are varied and fun to read. True? That's debatable (most of these would decidedly NOT survive an internet fact check, but I still love them anyway). Amazing? Definitely!