MEMBERS ONLY: SECRET SOCIETIES, SECTS, AND CULTS - EXPOSED! by Julie Tibbott profiles over fifty mysterious organizations. From cults and clubs to secret societies, young people will love the facts and folklore surrounding these exclusive and secretive groups.
Tibbott’s work of nonfiction is well-organized. Each chapter focuses on a different group. A brief outline includes the date it was founded, it’s status, exclusivity factor, secrecy factor, threat factor, and quirk factor. Along with a photo, a brief history and background start the chapter. Readers then learn about what it takes to become a member and what it’s like inside the organization. Many chapters include icons, logos, and other visuals associated with the group. The chapter concludes with a discussion of related topics from zombies to doomsday prophets.
The author’s conversational approach will appeal to young readers who are made to feel like they’re insiders in this “members only” world. Teens who enjoy reading about conspiracy theories, the lives of the rich and famous, and scary cults will all enjoy reading about the fascinating world of exclusive locations and groups.
Although many of the groups will be new to readers, others will be familiar. Secret handshakes, hazing, murder, and magic are just a few activities that will keep readers immersed in the short narratives. Many students are likely to use the book as background information to jumpstart their own investigations.
While many works of nonfiction sit on the library shelf, students will check out this one along with books about celebrity gossip, magic, and ghost hunters.
Available February 3, 2015 and published by Zest Books, a NetGalley ARC was used for the review.