Unexplained Phenomena

Judging from the response to booktalks I've done, most older elementary and young teen guys are usually intrigued by unsolved mysteries involving deadly monsters, hauntings and extraterrestrials. This interest shouldn't be surprising, seeing as many teen guys are interested in science fiction and horror. Unexplained Phenomena, published by Capstone Press, is a new non-fiction series covering the topics of ghosts, cryptids, aliens and demons.

I took a look at two of the books from the series: Searching for Aliens, UFOs and Men in Black and Tracking Sea Monsters, Bigfoot and Other Legendary Beasts. Each book presents the the information like a mystery case to solve, laying out the evidence (alleged sightings, folklore, scientific facts, etc.), then offering a verdict and/or possible explanations. The layout is appealing, with lots of photos and illustrations and short snippets of text. Information is presented in a variety of ways: diagrams, maps, timelines, photos and coloured boxes with interesting facts. You can easily scan and pick out different parts of each page to read, and you don't have to read all the information chronologically to understand what is being presented. A glossary and lists of recommended books and websites are included at the end of each book.

The text is easy to understand -- but also pretty brief so this probably won't satisfy someone looking for an in-depth or more scientifically detailed read on these topics. The exploration of various scientific and historical explanations just skims the surface and is definitely not comprehensive. I would say this series is more suitable for upper elementary or young teens, as the material is on the simplistic side. Saying that, this series makes for a fun, quick, non-intimidating read. Reading about real-life "Men in Black" and dinosaur species that might still be alive sure kept my attention...

Thank you to Capstone Press for making copies of these books available to the Boys Do Read Blog writers. 

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  1. Steven said...:

    I read a ton of stuff like this in high school. I remember the Time-Life Mysteries of the Unknown series. It covered ghosts, aliens, magic, dreams, mysterious creatures, etc. I probably read each volume two or three times.

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