Fact or Fiction: Killer kids

In Fact or Fiction I recommend a fiction and nonfiction book on the same topic. This month you can choose a chilling novel told from the point of view of a murderous little girl, a true crime story about America’s youngest serial killer or both! Either way you’ll get shocking accounts of unthinkable crimes.

The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker

Meet Chrissie, an 8-year-old scruff of a girl with a rotten tooth, hungry stomach and a serious case of rage. Bedwetter. Bully. Thief. Liar. Troublemaker at school, neglected at home, Chrissie longs to have what the other children do: loving parents, food in the refrigerator, clean clothes and someone who cares.

One day Chrissie lures a toddler, a beloved well-cared-for little boy who has everything that Chrissie wants, into an abandoned house. What to do? He is loved. She is not. Why not satisfy that hungry demon of rage and put hands around his neck and squeeze and squeeze until all the rage is spent? Told in Chrissie’s unforgettable voice, The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker is chilling and compelling portrait of childhood trauma and redemption. 

The Wilderness of Ruin by Roseanne Montillo

He was the Boy Fiend, the Red Devil, the scourge of Boston and the source of nightmares. In 1872 terrified little boys in Chelsea and South Boston reported that a “big boy” with a bad eye lured them from safety with promises of candy or a trip to the circus. Then he fiendishly stripped them, tied them up and tortured them. Shocking indeed.

What disturbed the citizens of Boston even more was that the perpetrator of these abominable crimes was but a child himself: 12-year-old Jesse Harding Pomeroy. This truly disturbing account of America’s youngest serial killer is capably told in Roseanne Montillo’s The Wilderness of Ruin.   

Constant reader, book selector, shameless promoter of good reads - these are just a few of the things I do as a Collection Development Professional. I love sharing the hidden gems in our nonfiction collection!