The Mysterious and Unknown | Myths & Urban Legends Series Nonfiction

Bigfoot. The Chupacabra. Atlantis. We can learn a lot about civilizations from their folklore and mythologies and this selection of series gives readers a great variety to choose from. Our world may feel small right now but these books will open up minds to great possibilities.


Bigfoot. The Chupacabra. Atlantis. We can learn a lot about civilizations from their folklore and mythologies and this selection of series gives readers a great variety to choose from. They can trace the origins of mythological creatures throughout the centuries or learn about Aesop’s timeless morals. Readers can even learn about today’s modern paranormal investigators and how they can join the hunt. Our world may feel small right now but these books will open up minds to great possibilities.



Braun, Eric. The Ants and the Grasshopper Retold. ISBN 9781623103026.
––––. The Boy Who Cried Wolf Retold. ISBN 9781623103033.
––––. The Goose and the Golden Eggs Retold. ISBN 9781623103040.
––––. The Lion and the Mouse Retold. ISBN 9781623103057.
––––. The Tortoise and the Hare Retold. ISBN 9781623103064.
––––. The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing Retold. ISBN 9781623103071.
ea vol: 24p. (Aesop’s Funny Fables). Black Rabbit/Hi Jinx. Jan. 2021. Tr. $29.95.
Gr 2 Up –Aesop’s tales get a delightful makeover in this silly series. Each book features one fable retold and includes plenty of jokes as well as updates to the story that kids will understand. (Think a shepherd who really needs to charge his phone.) Following the story is information about Aesop and the original fable. Readers then get a chance to examine the moral of the story by applying it to their own lives. Discussion questions and a glossary are included. The illustrations are fun and colorful from start to finish and are so vibrant that they appear to burst from the pages. VERDICT A highly recommended purchase for schools and parents.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

Troupe, Thomas Kingsley. Fairies. ISBN 9781644874646.
––––. Kraken. ISBN 9781644874653.
––––. Sea Serpents. ISBN 9781644874660.
––––. Sphinxes. ISBN 9781644874677.
ea vol: 24p. (Mythical Creatures). Bellwether/Torque. Jan. 2021. Tr. $25.95.
Gr 4-7 –A combination of bad computer graphics and ancient art serves as the visual backdrop for this series. Following an exciting hypothetical tale, readers learn all about the history of creatures such as sea serpents and fairies. Maps show where the creatures have been found in ancient art and folklore along with visual representations of the creatures. The monsters’ tales are followed through to their depictions in literature and their impact on popular culture. Each title includes a quick blurb about a novel that features the creature but the books selected are so popular that they don’t need the extra plug, such as Percy Jackson or Artemis Fowl. The back matter includes a glossary, further reading, and index. VERDICT While this is not research material, it is a good resource for blending popular interest in paranormal television shows and anthropology.

Troupe, Thomas Kingsley. Searching for Aliens. ISBN 9781623103149.
––––. Searching for Bermuda Triangle Answers. ISBN 9781623103156.
––––. Searching for Bigfoot. ISBN 9781623103163.
––––. Searching for Chupacabra. ISBN 9781623103170.
––––. Searching for Ghosts. ISBN 9781623103187.
––––. Searching for the Loch Ness Monster. ISBN 9781623103194.
ea vol: 24p. (On the Paranormal Hunt). Black Rabbit/Hi Jinx. Jan. 2021. Tr. $29.95.
Gr 4-6 –Fans of paranormal television shows are in for a treat. This series examines different fields of paranormal investigation including cryptozoology, ghosthunting, aliens, and mysterious places. Simple sentences, bolded vocabulary, and exciting layouts make reading fun for struggling readers who might chafe at more traditional nonfiction. Each book explores organizations and tools investigators use as well as famous evidence such as photos of the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. While the author entertains the idea that these paranormal entities exist, he is quick to offer alternative, non-paranormal explanations. Each book describes safe ways kids can join the investigation. Back matter includes discussion questions, a glossary, further reading, and index.VERDICT Fans of shows like Ghost Adventures and Mountain Monsters will discover how fun reading can be.


Upper Middle School to High School

Karst, Ken. Area 51. ISBN 9781640263598.
––––. Atlantis. ISBN 9781640263604.
––––. Bigfoot. ISBN 9781640263628.
––––. Great Sphinx. ISBN 9781640263635.
––––. Loch Ness Monster. ISBN 9781640263642.
ea vol: 80p. (Odysseys in Mysteries). The Creative Company. Jan. 2021. Tr. $44.20.
Gr 6-10 –Readers can explore some of the world’s most captivating mysteries in this series. What really goes on at Area 51? What purpose does the Great Sphinx serve? Is Atlantis real? Karst serves up fascinating evidence to support numerous theories on each subject but readers will learn about much more than modern myths and mysteries. Area 51 gives a detailed, but still very readable, history of the experimental aircraft designed by the military as well as the impact of nuclear testing and Cold War culture on the mythos surrounding the military base. Reading Great Sphinx will give kids insight into ancient Egyptian architecture and the history of Egyptology. The books are presented with high-interest photos of modern aircraft, archeological digs, and historical images combined with creepy graphics and photos of famous “evidence.” Back matter includes a glossary, bibliography, recommended websites, and an index. ­VERDICT Recommended for both research and personal interest reading.

“On the Paranormal Hunt” (Black Rabbit/Hi Jinx) is a sure way to grab reluctant readers who enjoy paranormal TV shows. “Odysseys in Mysteries” (The Creative Company) offers a fact-based backbone to long-explored mysteries, while “Mythical Creatures” (Bellwether/Torque) is a fun romp through cryptozoology. “Aesop’s Funny Fables” (Black Rabbit/Hi Jinx) shines with its silly tales and critical thinking questions.

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