* “Sandwiched between a look at Depression-era radios and a set of fanciful period advertisements, McCarthy delivers a semi-serious account of the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast, illustrating both passages from the script and briefly told descriptions of widespread panic with smudgy cartoon scenes featuring bug-eyed monsters and equally bug-eyed people. The author closes with a substantial note that analyzes the broadcast’ immediate and long-term effects, points out that the announcers repeatedly admitted that they were presenting a drama during the broadcast, mentions several later revivals here and internationally and notes the response of H.G. Wells himself to the original production. She has also set up an invitingly designed Web site with an array of relevant links.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred
An ALA–ALSC Notable Children’s Book
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
An IRA–CBC Children’s Choice
A Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice
A 2006 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Product dimensions:||9.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.20(d)|
|Age Range:||3 - 7 Years|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Meghan McCarthy has a knack for pulling out the most interesting aspects for children and creating a book that is accurate and enthralling without the feel of non fiction. My boys loved the illustrations and the pacing and were amazed that this great book was actually about a real event in history. Try her book on Seabiscut for another historical and inspiring picture book winner. I will be reading both to my library students this year. I will use the actual tapes of the broadcast for the kids after we read this book...I am doing this with 1st-5th grades.
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.
Teach students about the media's social responsiblity by discussing this true account of the "War of the Worlds" 1938 radio broadcast. As a joke, broadcasters acted out parts of H.G. Wells "War of the Words" and people believed it to be really happening! I really like the illustrations in this book. This book can also open up discussions about how practical jokes can go too far.
30 October 1938. A day of panic & pandemonium or entertainment & fun? According to CBS radio - Columbia Broadcasting System - there was a Martian invasion occurring. It was a play put on by actors from the Mercury Theatre on CBS radio. This tale is informative, educational, fun to read, comical, and entertaining, since the readers know that this is fiction. *Delightful escape from reality for young readers, especially those that enjoy sci-fi stories and fascinating "pranks."