The Great Stink
How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem
US Release Date: August 31, 2021 UK Release Date: October 28, 2021 ISBN-13: 978-1534449299 Ages 4 to 8
2022 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, Association for Library Services to Children
2022 Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction Text for Young Readers, SCBWI
2022 Cook Prize Honor Book, Bank Street College of Education
2022 Notable Book, American Library Association
2022 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, Children’s Book Council
2022 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Gem, Texas Library Association
2022 Best STEM Books K-12, National Science Teaching Association
2021 Best Informational Books for Younger Readers, Chicago Public Library
Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Something is in the air.
It’s the summer of 1858 and London’s River Thames STINKS. What is creating this revolting smell? The answer is gross: the river is full of poop. But the smell isn’t the worst problem. Every few years, cholera breaks out, and thousands of people die. Could there be a connection between the foul water and the deadly disease?
One engineer dreams of making London a cleaner, healthier place. His name is Joseph Bazalgette. His grand plan to create a new sewer system to clean the river is an engineering marvel. And his sewers will save lives. Nothing stinky about that.
With tips for how to prevent pollution today, this fascinating look at science, history, and what one person can do to create change will impress and astound readers who want to help make their planet a cleaner, happier place to live.
WATCH: The Great Stink Virtual Launch Party featuring Colleen Paeff & Nancy Carpenter
WATCH: Colleen shares some fun facts about Joseph Bazalgette on KidLit TV
READ: Julie Danielson’s interview with Colleen Paeff & Nancy Carpenter on 7 Imp
READ: John Schu’s interview with Colleen on Write. Connect. Read.
LISTEN: Colleen talks primary sources and research on The Primary Source Podcast
“Colleen Paeff’s debut is quite pleasant, despite the fact that she’s writing about something best described as noxious…Together author and illustrator make a revolting topic utterly enticing.”
✭ Shelf Awareness, STARRED review
“This informative exploration of London’s sanitation history will delight nonfiction fans interested in history, ecology, biography, and more…Far from stinky.”
✭ Kirkus, STARRED review
“Paeff celebrates [Bazalgette’s] engineering feat with a lively but orderly overview of the history of sanitation misinformation…and Carpenter has a field day illustrating a comical confrontation between Londoners and royalty and their offensive river.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
FOR TEACHERS & PARENTS
- Free 22-page TEACHER’S GUIDE (PDF) created by Marcie Colleen.
- HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES to pair with the book (includes free downloads!)
- THE GREAT STINK PINTEREST BOARD for even more fun ideas!