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Who Wins? 100 Historical Figures go Head-to-Head and You Decide the Winner! Review by Jennifer Do Nascimento

Clay Swartz
Workman Publishing
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014-4381

Between Theodore Roosevelt and Cleopatra, who would be a better super spy? Or who would be more successful living in the wild, wild west, Christopher Columbus or Marie Antoinette? Who would make a better gladiator, Cyrus the Great or Sojourner Truth? If these sound absolutely absurd, well, that’s because they are. However, these are also the premise for the game, Who Wins?

In Who Wins? history is turned into an imaginative game as you pit some of the most colorful characters in history against each other in a series of epic showdowns in hilarious hypothetical situations. With mix-and-max pages, you can flip to any of the three panels to create your showdown and choose two of the 100 historical figures and one of the 50 head-to-head categories.

Each of the characters is rated (from 1-10) in seven categories: wealth, fitness, wisdom, bravery, artistry, leadership, and intelligence. Along with the ratings are short biographies and little-known facts for each person.

For example, we all know who Thomas Jefferson is, but did you know:

He spoke French, Italian, and Latin, and he could read Greek and Spanish. His huge 6,500 book library served as the original library of congress. He invented the dumbwaiter, hideaway bed, macaroni and cheese and the pedometer.

How to play: by picking two figures on the outside panels and an activity from the middle panel, you compare each character’s ratings in the different areas to see how they might fare with these outlandish circumstances.

For example: If Louis Armstrong and Margaret Thatcher were to race around the world, you’d compare the different ratings and decide who you think would win. They are equally matched in fitness and bravery, but Margaret far outscores Louis in intelligence, leadership, wisdom, and wealth. However, Louis outscores Margaret in artistry. It’s up to you do decide which of these characteristics would benefit them the most in their endeavors. There are more than 100,000 possible combinations of people and hypothetical situations!

For the most part, I kept the book in the van to keep the kids busy during long car rides. From time to time they would be in the middle of a “game” and have to bring the book inside. All of them- ages 4-17 have had fun playing with the book. As a parent, I appreciate that they are learning while they have fun. After all, that is the best way to learn, right?

This is definitely a fun way to learn your history! It is designed with children in grades 3-6 (ages 8-12) in mind, and is available for $14.95.

-Product review by Jeniffer Do Nascimento, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2016