As part of the Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge 2012 (Twitter: #nfpb2012), my goal is to read and review as many of the new non-fiction picture books that are released this year. Wednesdays will be my primary day to post the reviews.
Author: Kelly Milner Halls
Illustrated: Rick C. Spears
Publisher: Millbrook Press (January 1, 2012)
Audience: Grades 4 to 8
Source: Copy for review/giveaway
Description from Publisher:
Imagine . . . you're in the woods after dark. Eerie green lights appear in the distance. Then there's a sudden flash and everything is dark again. You decide to take a closer look. You come upon a saucer-shaped craft hovering silently just above the ground. You reach out to touch it, but the object suddenly shoots up into the sky. Have you just seen a UFO?
Some people say they have had experiences like this. Are they telling the truth? To find out, Kelly Milner Halls investigated stories of eyewitnesses from around the world. She explored UFO sightings, landings, crashes, aliens, and even a few hoaxes. She also interviewed several of the world's UFO experts. Examine her findings and decide for yourself whether visitors from other worlds are real.
My thoughts on the book:
Children often find stories about aliens and spaceships fascinating and interesting. They typically have lots of questions too. To find a book that provides children a mixture of facts, pieces of information from the news, and interviews all in an easy to understand format is not easy. Kelly Milner Halls has provided just such a book. The book is divided into four chapters that looks at UFO's or space ship sightings over the years. This is followed by a chapter on Crashes and Landings. Next up is a section on Aliens, and it is followed by Hoaxes and Misunderstandings. Throughout the book, children are cued in by the term Imagine and a team of bold alien explorers provide a view point of the aliens preparing to travel. The book concludes with the question "Real or Unreal?"
Though the book has only 64 pages, it is filled with a significant amount of text and information. I sometimes find that teachers might consider a book of this length as not long enough for use for a report. However, in reading through this book, Milner Hall has managed to do an admirable job of condensing extensive amount of research into a form that children will find accessible. Additionally, the book does not lean in one direction or the other. It allows the reader to form their own conclusions and to explore further the possibility that life exists beyond earth.
After reading through this book, I would recommend it for any school or classroom library.
For more information about Kelly Milner Hall and her books, please click here.
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