Children's Literature - Joyce RiceRemember the evil queen in the fairy tale "Snow White?" She was always staring into a mirror, trying to determine if her beauty was being challenged. This technique of seeking images in a mirror is called "scrying" and is one of the methods of predicting the future that is discussed here. Other methods of fortune telling that are discussed are tarot reading, astrology, and visions. This is one of three volumes in the "Secrets of the Unexplained" series. In this series, we explore the unknown through alien encounters, paranormal happenings and strange forebodings. Each volume in the series includes a glossary, index, reading suggestions, and a bibliography. Middle school libraries will find this a welcome addition to this subject presented in a high interest/low reading ability format.
An intriguing book about paranormal phenomena focusing on how humans have tried to foretell the future and including specific instances of such prophecies.
School Library JournalGr 4-6-Attractive packages bring a fresh look to popular subjects. Alien Astronauts takes a historical look at UFO sightings and aboriginal beliefs in creatures from space. Following a description of the most common varieties of sightings, types of encounters are each presented in a separate chapter. Although the tone is neutral, conclusions about specific cases are generally skeptical. Carole Marsh's Unidentified Flying Objects and Extraterrestrial Life (21st Century, 1996) is similar in scope but includes scientific theories concerning long-distance space travel. Patricia D. Netzley's Alien Abductions (Greenhaven, 1996) and Larry Kettelkamp's ETs and UFOs, Are They Real? (Morrow, 1996) describe standard cases in much greater detail than Blackwood's survey. Fateful Forebodings divides fortune-telling into prophecy and premonitions and gives a brief look at the origins and practices of common techniques such as astrology, tarot-card reading, scrying, tea-leaf reading, and the I Ching. Paranormal Powers divides psychic abilities into two types. "Mental powers" refers to telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. "Physical powers" covers a wide range of unusual abilities such as body magnetism or electronic interference, control over pain and injury, and spoon bending. In the spectrum of ESP books, this falls between James M. Deem's How to Read Your Mother's Mind (Houghton, 1994), which uses more case studies, humorous drawings, and many home experiments for testing psychic powers, and Colin Wilson's Psychic Powers (DK, 1998), which focuses on the most bizarre aspects of psychic phenomena. Blackwood's three volumes have large, full-color photographs and illustrations with information-packed captions. Listings of sources for further information are divided into fiction and nonfiction plus organizations. Alien Astronauts also lists an unscientific video on UFOs and ufologists. These balanced books may not be the last word on their topics, yet they do provide more information than Elaine Landau's UFO's (1995), Fortune Telling (1996), and ESP (1996, all Millbrook).-Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, NY
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