I enjoy a good nonfiction read, no matter the demographic or age range. Historical nonfiction is some of my favorite, which is why this week we’re taking a look at Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and the War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America.
Summary: Orson Welles’ famous 1938 dramatization of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds is reintroduced to a whole new generation in this fascinating read. Author Gail Jarrow delves deeper into the political tensions of the late 1930s and the economic fears that kept many Americans on edge. This book collects witness testimony, radio excerpts, photos, and clippings that weave together to create a colorful narrative that will keep readers wondering, what next? With candor and an astonishing array of sleuthing work, Spooked! elaborates on the intense radio broadcast which shook America out of its stupor and made people listen a little bit closer to what they were hearing.
My Thoughts: I am a huge fan of H. G. Wells’ work and – having read War of the Worlds multiple times – find the story of the 1938 radio dramatization absolutely fascinating. Kids will get a kick out of learning about the hoaxes, rumors, and ludicrous reactions that swept through the public like wildfire. Radio serials and adaptations bloomed thanks to this monumental show, which managed to prove to the world the power of effective acting, storytelling, and medium.
Parental Advisories: None! This is a squeaky clean read that I not only recommend to kids, but also to adults. It’s worth a read; trust me.