Saturday, September 3, 2011

No-nonsense Nonfiction: "Unexplained Phenomena" reviews

Selecting nonfiction for a school library takes a critical eye.  However, I want to gush about the two books I read from the Unexplained Phenomena series by Capstone Press!  These books are pretty much the epitome of what I like to see in a nonfiction children's book.

Checkouts: new to the library, courtesy of the Superiorland Preview Center
Typical reader: Middle- to upper-elementary students are going to really enjoy these.
Do the Dewey: 001.942 for Aliens, 398.24 for Legendary Beasts

My Goodreads ratings: 5 for both

As I said, I am very impressed with this series.  The layout for both books is outstanding.  The presentation of information and depth of coverage are fantastic.  There are glossaries as well as in-text definitions of world kids may not understand.  These are age-appropriate books, and can also be "high interest/low level" that will intrigue older students who do best with books that are written for a lower grade level than their own.

Searching for Aliens, UFOs, and Men in Black covers its topics through history, starting with things ancient people saw in the sky and continuing through the United States government's investigations of aliens and UFOs.  It provides rational explanations for sightings when possible, while still allowing readers to believe in the possibility of lifeforms from other planets.

From Wikipedia: an okapi
Tracking Sea Monsters, Bigfoot, and Other Legendary Beasts is more broad in scope, highlighting many well-known and some less familiar cryptids.  The creatures are grouped by where they are found - on land, in the sea, and in the air.  Height or length and features are provided, as well as what is known and speculated about each beast.  It also talks about the kraken, which was proven to be more or less real in the 1870s with the discovery of giant squid, and the okapi, which was initially believed by European explorers to be a myth like the classic unicorn but was proven to be an actual animal.

This series is well-rounded, informative, and highly interesting.  I'm sure that these books will be very popular.  If you're looking for a good paranormal/unsolved phenomena set for a library or a child in your life that loves this stuff, this set (four volumes total - I want the other two!) is an excellent choice.

1 comment:

  1. Always good to see a competent examination of cryptids and unexplained phenomena, that treats the subject with both a critical eye, and an open mind. :)