Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America — a Review

Thought for the Day:

”Writers remember everything…especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones you get novels. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is the ability to remember the story of every scar. Art consists of the persistence of memory.”

~  Stephen King ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

I am always on the lookout for articles that will help me clean up my writing and make it stronger. Janice Hardy from Fiction University has another terrific post HERE that will help us all make our writing stronger.

Do you read poetry? Do you write it? I do. There are a lot of reasons to do it. HERE is a good post from Writing Forward with 10 Reasons Storytellers Should Dabble in Poetry.

It’s always fun when Merriam-Webster announces the the new words they have added for the year. This year? 840 new entries. Check the article HERE to see what’s new.

Last week, I offered a gently-read ARC of Dear Libby to one of you. This week’s winner is Danielle Hammelef. Congratulations, Danielle! I will get your book out to you soon. Alas, I have no giveaway this week, but I expect to have on next week. Please keep reading, though. I have a great book to talk about this week.

spookedcoverWhenever I see a new book by Gail Jarrow, I know I am in for a treat. This might well be my favorite of her books so far. The Seattle Book Review gave me the chance to grab Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America and grab I did. Here is the review I wrote for them.

In 1938, the most popular entertainment for Americans was the radio. Families would crowd around the radio to listen to stories and music in the evenings. On Sunday evening, October 30 of that year, the Mercury Theater broadcast an adaptation of H.fdG. Wells’s War of the Worlds, modernized to the near future. Little did producers Orson Welles and John Houseman realize, people would be so fooled by the show’s imitation of breaking news reports interrupting what seemed to be a show of dance music that listeners would believe the country was under attack by monsters from Mars. Panicked callers begged police for protection and for telephone operators to connect them to loved ones to say goodbye.

Gail Jarrow
Gail Jarrrow

Author Gail Jarrow has done a masterful job of telling this true story in a way that will grab young readers and not let them go until the very last page. The fascinating text is supported with great photographs and illustrations and powerful graphics that will make this computer generation want to read this book. Jarrow always finds such fascinating historical people and events to write about and bring alive for young audiences, but this might well be her best. Do not miss this book!

There will be no giveaway this week. I am giving the nice hardbound copy I received for review to the library at my granddaughter’s charter school. They have a tiny budget and really need books. Check back next week. I might have a giveaway then. If you are reading this in your email, please click HERE to get to my blog, then click on the title of the post, and leave a comment. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

10 thoughts on “Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America — a Review”

  1. You know I loved this one, too. It made that day in our history so vivid. Reminds me I need to read more from this author. Thanks especially for the Janice Hardy link. It’s just what I needed.


  2. This books sounds absolutely amazing, Rosi. I love US History, and it sounds as if the author hit the nail on the head with this account of a real-life event. Thanks for sharing this one with us today.


  3. This book is a must read for me. I have it on my wish list. Since I first heard about this book, I’ve wondered how this would play out today with social media. Thanks for the post today!


  4. This is one book I would really enjoy reading. I’ve heard so many good things about it andit sounds like it is a very engaging book. In a way it’s timely, with the accidental alerts that went off in Hawaii and how it impacted people. Thanks for a great review!


  5. I grew up hearing about that story. My mother and grandparents talked about it. It was amazing to think the country panicked the way they did.(On the other hand, it’s a good reminder that some people will believe anything. Emoticon needed here. ) But still, it is sobering, isn’t it! I would like to read that book. On another note, lately I’m getting more and more into poetry, so the link above give good reminders of why that is a good thing for writers.


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