Posted in ELA Instruction, Module 7, Non-Fiction

Module 7: Poop Happened!

Title: Poop Happened!

Author: Sarah Albee

ISBN: 978-0-8027-2077-1

Publisher: Walker & Company


Poop Happened! takes the reader through history, looking at how humans have relieved themselves and disposed of their waste over the ages. It begins by discussing why this study is so important. Albee explains how people did not understand the connection between unclean living conditions and water and human health. She goes on to show how each century changed in its view points on sanitation, discussing things such as professions, diseases, and even how clothing has changed in relation to how society uses the restroom. Albee concludes by explaining how toilets advanced due to technology, and how pollution still a factor in our world.

Albee, S. (2010). Poop happened! A history of the world from the bottom up. New York, Ny: Walker & Company.

My Impressions:

This one will be an instant hit in my classroom, and I am stoked to tempt my reluctant readers with it. Albee takes on a conversational tone with her reader as she discusses this unconventional subject, reminding young readers that reading is fun. The text features throughout this text are amazing. Readers will love the array of pictures and captions, as well as the silly cartoons flitting along the pages. The chapters are organized well, and are full of eye catching side bars or boxes that draw the reader in. I read this entire book in one sitting. And I found myself repeating interesting facts I had learned to my family and friends several days after I finished. I enjoyed Albee’s lighthearted tone, adored the clever chapter titles, and couldn’t get enough of the content. I recommend this text for every 4-8 grade classroom. Readers will be waiting in line to read this one!

For Use in the Library:

This is an excellent text to suggest to a reluctant or struggling reader. The title and subject matter of this book is unconventional, and will make hesitant readers feel at ease while reading. The vocabulary is very kid friendly, and the content is highly engaging. Talk this one up to your classes, and you will have kids begging to be the next in line to read it.


Gr 4-8–This self-proclaimed “number one book on number two” takes readers inside the fascinating world of excrement, ranging across the historical spectrum from “Hellenic Hygiene” to “How Do Astronauts Use the Toilet in Space?” Albee’s focus is not only on bodily functions, but also on the larger public-health challenges created by mass urbanization in the ancient and modern world as well as the ability of societies to deal with these problems, which provides readers with an excellent introduction to social history. With a focus on the Western world in general and England in particular, the author touches on an array of topics from diseases such as cholera and plague to the development of increased sanitation in large urban areas such as London. The exciting format is comprised of a two-color (pastel green and blue) layout with numerous illustrations and photos. Interesting sidebars describe occupations and “hygiene heroes” such as Edwin Chadwick and bathroom fashion. The fluid writing style that ensnares and holds readers’ attention from beginning to end. By bringing history alive, this captivating work is without a doubt an essential purchase.

Odom, B. (2010). [Review of the book Poop happened: A history of the world from the bottom up, by S. Albee]. School Library Journal, 56(5), 126. Retrieved from