Weird U.S.: A Freaky Field Trip Through the 50 States

Overview

Now, for the first time ever, kids can join America's most beloved WEIRD hunters on an unforgettable cross-country journey-and experience all the fun and discovery for themselves! Camera and notebooks again in hand, the two Marks introduce brave young explorers to bizarre objects and strange sites across our land, from UFO museums and the world's largest cow to cursed roads and a house that looks like a mushroom.

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Overview

Now, for the first time ever, kids can join America's most beloved WEIRD hunters on an unforgettable cross-country journey-and experience all the fun and discovery for themselves! Camera and notebooks again in hand, the two Marks introduce brave young explorers to bizarre objects and strange sites across our land, from UFO museums and the world's largest cow to cursed roads and a house that looks like a mushroom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Readers taking road trips this summer (or armchair ones, considering gas prices) will be prepared with this photographic tour of American oddities, an addition to the Weird U.S. series. Attractions include the Watts Towers in Los Angeles, which artist Simon Rodia built using objects collected by neighborhood kids; the mysterious Marfa lights in Presidio County, Tex.; and the archaeological site in Groton, Conn., known as Gungywamp. The world's biggest ball of twine makes an appearance, as does the smallest park (located in Portland, Ore.), while a section on "Haunted Highways" includes the cryptically named "Shades of Death Road" in Warren County, N.J. Lake and Fairbanks's lively descriptions demonstrate the enthusiasm that subjects like Mothman, Sarah Winchester, and the FeeJee Mermaid deserve. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up—From the Watts Towers in Los Angeles to the mythical New Jersey Devil, the "Weird U.S." writing team embarks on a new mission: to guide readers on a road trip, visiting the many curiosities America has to offer. The first third of this book covers wacky museums, strange houses, colorful street festivals, and roadside oddities, all of which would certainly be amusing additions to a family vacation. The other two-thirds of the book are dedicated to haunted houses, bloodthirsty roads, mythological creatures, alien landings, and other inexplicable phenomena. Even as reading material alone, these sections fall flat; many of them, especially the one about Bigfoot and his brethren, contain nothing that readers can't find in greater detail in numerous other books. Throughout the volume, many of the color photographs are far too small to do justice to their subjects, and there are also a good number that suffer from lack of captions. Fans of The Guinness Book of Records and "Ripley's Believe It or Not" (Ripley) will be drawn to this treasure trove of strange places and faces, but may find themselves disappointed in the end.—Rebecca Dash Donsky, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

A tantalizing sampler of American roadside attractions, ghosts and spooky local legends for audiences not yet familiar with the TV show of the same name and its attendant series of state-by-state print guides.

Shoveled haphazardly into thematic chapters, the several hundred stopovers range from old reliables like Roswell, Bigfoot, jackalopes and the Watts Towers to various art car shows, festivals like the annual Roadkill Cook-off in West Virginia and such undeservedly obscure locales as New Jersey's Shades of Death Road and Maine's International Cryptozoology Museum. The authors supply a paragraph or two of credulous commentary on each that includes specific places and people along with back story and, for the more elusive or supernatural oddities, locally gathered rumors and anecdotes. Small but sharp photos—or melodramatic Photoshopped images for the various specters—on every page add both atmosphere and additional credibility for readers who may have trouble believing in, for instance, the many giant fiberglass "Muffler Men" dotting the Midwest or all the buildings shaped like teapots, picnic baskets and various foodstuffs. Readers allergic to exclamation points may want to skip this one.

A browser's delight, packaged to fit small coffee tables. (Infotainment. 10-13)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402754623
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/5/2011
  • Series: Weird Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 362,352
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

MARK MORAN and MARK SCEURMAN are the authors of Weird N.J., Weird U.S. The ODDyssey Continues, and other books in the series. Both are married with children and live in NEW JERSEY.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2012

    Not what I expected

    I am going to be taking a road trip vacation this summer with teenagers and adults. I was looking to put together a trip where we could drive, look at a roadside attraction and they move on. From the description online, this book seemed perfect for that but when I got it, it wasn't. The book is fun and informative but not for anything more than a fun read. The way the book is set up, there is no way you could figure out a sequence of attractions since it only gives a town and state. The book is not organized by state either, rather by types of attractions. Some states are more represented than others, i.e. California is featured frequently and Vermont has maybe one attraction. I realize the relative size of the states is different but each state has more than just one thing to offer, especially given the difference in climate and history. Would recommend for a fun read but nothing more.

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