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Children's LiteratureAn entry in "The Unexplained" series, this high-interest book takes a logical look at the paranormal. Each short story opens with a contemporary eyewitness commentator, a "You Are There" introduction narrated in a conversational tone. The book examines four famous disappearances: Amelia Earhart; the Bermuda Triangle's claiming of the ship the Mary Celeste; the mysterious identity of D.B. Cooper who stole millions and jumped from an airplane with his loot; and a successful jailbreak from Alcatraz. The tone of the storytelling makes for humorous and easy reading while short, punchy prose and invented dialog are a further attraction for reluctant readers. Full-color photos bordered in eerie scratched frames, diagrams, some related boxed stories or information, archival material, and the use of a unifying apple green and black give this series a pleasing appearance. By itself, the book will not satisfy report writers but the endmatter supplies ways to find out more and an index is provided. 2004, Lerner, Ages 10 to 16.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.