The Saga of the Bloody Benders- Maddie McGuire

Rick Geary The Saga of the Bloody Benders. New York: Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing inc. 2007.

Genre: True Crime, Fiction

Audience: Reading level is 5th-8th grade. Material throughout the book is more than likely high school.

Read Aloud: The Saga of the Bloody Benders

Summary: The Bender family moves to the prairies of Kansas to start a new life; so, the town thinks. The Benders create a grocery store for the locals to stop off for food, rest, and necessities. The town starts to grow suspicious when travelers wound up never heard of again. This book leads the reader through quite a gruesome explaination.

Themes: The hunt for the American dream. Two men, Pa and John Jr., set out in the country looking for what every person at the time was seeking- the American dream. The American dream consists of land, food, shelter, and a good job. Pa and John Jr. were able to achieve all that in time Ma and Kate Bender to arrive.

Deception is another theme. This is because this family acts as a very loving, hospital group. Once the visitors arrive into their grocery store/house they will eventually rob and murder them. Kate Bender has a habit of luring gentleman in with her beauty and charm.

Lastly, I would say education could fit in well as a theme. The town people were very uneducated. Kate Bender was able to perform séances. The town people were very gullible; Kate could almost trick any one of the travelers into anything. The people of the town never were able to really link the evidence to the Bender family of missing people. But, their technology at the time was not very advanced as our society is today.

Connections: The only connections I could personally make was just how advance our society is now today. If the Benders were around today, there would be no way they could accomplish the crimes they did back in Kansas. With all forensic evidence offered today, radar, etc. there would be no way. Other than that, I could relate this book to probably something along the lines of the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Reactions: The book was alright, your typical gore. I was sadly disappointed though. This was my first graphic novel ever read and it took me around fifty minutes to actually get through. The author seemed to skip a lot throughout the book, he could have gone more in detail about what was going on. The book was real quick and to the point which I wasn’t too big on it. I felt like everything was just rushed.

Reception: Mark This give a little more detail of the history of the book. The event occurred in the early 1870s. It also went into the pattern of how the victims were killed as well in here. It also talks about Geary, the author, a bit too and his illustrations.

Best comics In this it rates many different comic books. The Bloody Benders actually took 5th in 2007. This tells a little more about how the Benders were able to lure the victims into their homes. The blurb talks into more detail about how the illustrations make the case even “creepier”. Again Geary is praised for his illustrations.

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One Response to The Saga of the Bloody Benders- Maddie McGuire

  1. Maddie, So did this book make you want to learn more about this family and what actually took place? It sounds like they were quite the gruesome group of serial killers. Did it discuss why they chose this life? Did the author give any historical background to really help you understand the book? It might be interesting to see if there are any other writings about this family that you could compare to the graphic novel.

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