HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Quiz Wizard: America Past and Present Trivia Questions and Answers
Authors: Marsha Kranes, Fred Worth, and Steve Tamerius
Publisher: The Popular Group, 2001
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Interesting and suitable for anyone
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Kranes, Marsha; Worth, Fred; and Tamerius, Steve. Quiz Wizard: America Past and Present Trivia Questions and Answers (originally published in 1981 by Workman Publishing Co.; this edition published in 2001 by Popular Publishing Co. LLC, 3 Park Ave., New York City, NY 10016). Do you enjoy trivia? Are you an American history buff? If either or both are true, you should like this book. Trivia parties seemed to be very popular fund raising activities (like Bingo) for various organizations around St. Louis, MO, when we lived there. A recent local newspaper article on the subject said that other major metropolitan areas around the country do not seem to have the same degree of interest in these trivia parties as St. Louis.
This paperback book has 79 pages with 363 trivia questions about American history, geography, culture. The questions are on the odd numbered pages, with the answers on the reverse side even numbered pages. Some of them are very interesting, others are, well, quite “trivial.” One does have to watch out for dated material. “How much garbage–in tons—is generated daily in the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City?” Unfortunately, now the answer is absolutely none. Also, there are a few poorly worded questions. “How many U. S. states are there with only four letters in their names? Watch out, this is a trick question.”
Well, at least, they warned us. The answer? “Nine. The easy ones are Iowa and Utah. The tough ones are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.” I have to demur. Would you say “eye” has only two letters in it? “Eye” is NOT a two-letter word but a three-letter word, even though two of the letters happen to be the same. What was meant is, “How many U. S. states are there with only four DIFFERENT letters in their names?” I also came up with Ohio, but by their reckoning, that is only a three-letter name! That is not trivia but trickery. Otherwise, those interested in really trivial trivia, especially about America, will appreciate this book. Amazon lists several of these “Quiz Wizard” books.