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Aliens are Coming! by Meghan McCarthy

Aliens are Coming!

by Meghan McCarthy

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After reading Sharon Ruth Gill’s comments about this book, I had to get my hands on it. When I read this book, I could not picture modern day society creating a panic from a story like this. The author’s notes tell that the original broadcast included several announcements that this was a play, but the listeners believed it to be true. Creating a panic like this today would likely lead to legal action (and fame).

The illustrations are big, fun, and inviting. The back cover acts as an advertisement that entices you inside to read the whole story. Inside the book, the change from black and white to color was a brilliant way to switch from what was actually taking place to what was being broadcast. My favorite page has a rich purple smoldering out of a wooden box radio.

The author uses a bibliography of books and newspaper articles to provide accuracy his story. He includes other important related facts in his author’s note. Can you believe that a similar story led to arson and deaths? Other points of accuracy include the types of vehicles illustrated as well as the menu prices in the diner.

This is a great, enjoyable nonfiction book with something to be learned for adults and children. ( )
  mapalumbo | Feb 12, 2014 |
Radio broadcasters tell the story of War of the Worlds over the radio on Halloween day in 1938. The people all over the world become extremely alarmed and start panicking. Come too find out that it was all a hoax. The radio broadcasters were pulling a joke. ( )
  RayJones63 | Mar 14, 2012 |
I really liked this book, as I am already a big fan of Orson Welles and "War of the Worlds'. This book lends itself to a variety of teaching avenues- WWII, society in the 30's, history of the radio, playwrights and authors, writing a play, revising it for radio...the list can go on and on. I think if you were to pursue these avenues, it would be more suitable for an older grade(2nd?); though I believe first graders would enjoy the story as well. Even Kindergarteners would like it if you could be dramatic enough in your read. I enjoyed how the author/illustrator brought the words from the radio to life with color. When the announcer on the radio was the central part of the story, the illustrations have color. All other times the illustrations are in black and white. I especially like the picture in the diner that displayed a sign reading " two eggs and French toast 25 cents"! We certainly couldn't find prices like that today! The author effectively introduces young readers with a direct dialog prior to the opening story explaining how in the thirties, instead of families sitting in front of the television, they would gather by the radio. At the end of the book there are several pages that could be explored with a teacher surrounding the history of the broadcast, history of Welles and Well's relationship as professionals, and the effects of similar broadcasts through out history. There is also a statement on the effect that WWII was having on the country at that time and how it could've fueled the nation's hysterical reaction to a Halloween prank. ( )
  derbygirl | Jun 23, 2011 |
This book makes me really feel bad about lying. Also, another lesson is to not always trust everybody, that they can prank you anytime if you over trust them. The setting of this book takes place at a farm which actually has no aliens, people's home, streets, and the radio station. Back then, when everybody relied on the radio to give them entertainment, people took advantage of that to do some pranking.

I recommend this book for people of all ages, especially those people who lie a lot. ( )
  TrumanCh | Nov 2, 2010 |
Great book for teaching media literacy. The book includes further facts and resources at the back of the book. Also be sure to check out the website: http://www.aliensarecoming.com/ This sites has personal recollections of the broadcast,more information about Grovers Mill, New Jersey,fun links for kids, and much more. ( )
  jenscypinski | May 20, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375835180, Hardcover)

It was an ordinary night in October of 1938 until a news bulletin interrupted the dance music on CBS radio–aliens were invading the United States!
Meghan McCarthy’s hilarious Aliens Are Coming! tells the true story of the Halloween radio prank that duped much of the country into believing that Martians had invaded. The book uses excerpts from the actual War of the Worlds radio broadcast and includes information about the importance of radios in the 1930s (before the time of televisions and computers) as well as facts about Orson Welles and H. G. Wells, author of the novel on which the broadcast was based.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:37 -0400)

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Account of the practical joke that fooled American radio listeners and made Orson Welles famous.

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