________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 26 . . . . March 12, 2010

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Mysteries of the Ancients. (Unsolved!).

Kathryn Walker. Based on original text by Brian Innes.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2010.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4160-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-4147-3 (RLB.).

Subject Headings:
Civilization, Ancient-Juvenile literature.
Curiosities and wonders-Juvenile literature.
Antiquities-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.


*** /4

   
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Mysteries of the Cosmic Joker. (Unsolved!).

Kathryn Walker. Based on original text by Brian Innes.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2010.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4161-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-4148-0 (RLB.).

Subject Headings:
Fort, Charles, 1874-1932-Juvenile literature.
Curiosities and wonders-Juvenile literature.
Science-Miscellanea-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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Mysteries of the Mind. (Unsolved!).

Kathryn Walker. Based on original text by Brian Innes.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2010.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4162-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-4149-7 (RLB.).

Subject Headings:
Psychokinesis-Juvenile literature.
Extrasensory perception-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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Mysterious Healing. (Unsolved!).

Kathryn Walker. Based on original text by Brian Innes.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2010.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4163-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-4150-3 (RLB.).

Subject Headings:
Mental healing-Juvenile literature.
Spiritual healing-Juvenile literature.
Supernatural-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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Mysterious Predictions. (Unsolved!).

Kathryn Walker. Based on original text by Brian Innes.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2010.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4164-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-4151-0 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Prophecies (Occultism)-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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The Mystery of Atlantis. (Unsolved!).

Kathryn Walker. Based on original text by Brian Innes.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2010.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4165-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-4152-7 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Atlantis (Legendary place)-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

expert:

Carol Alspaugh lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Early in the morning of February 9, 1979, she spotted something odd. A large icicle was hanging outside her kitchen window. It was shaped like a human hand. Part of it was broken.

That day, Alspaugh's sister was going to have surgery on her hand. However, the doctors had to cancel the operation at the last minute because she injured her arm. This new injury had been caused by a falling icicle. (From Mysteries of the Cosmic Joker.)


Many readers are drawn to stories of the unexplained, and these titles, part of the 12-volume "Unsolved!" series, are guaranteed to keep them engaged and thoroughly fascinated. Based on the original text of Brian Innes, the books, written by Kathryn Walker, provide accounts of both ancient and modern mysteries. Walker's writing style will appeal to readers as she captures their attention and proceeds to weave a story, albeit a true story, about unusual phenomena or strange events, giving enough details to keep readers intrigued, but not so many as to confuse them. Divided into six chapters (with the exception of Mysteries of the Ancients, which has five), the text is printed in a large, simple font with words in boldface type appearing in both the glossary and in coloured bands across the bottom of the page (a bit redundant). "How Strange" boxes offer additional trivia related to the topic. Illustrations, all suitably labeled, consist of black-and-white and colour photographs as well as drawings, paintings, sketches and diagrams. These enhance the text and make some of the stories even more credible. A table of contents, an index and a list for further reading are included.

     Mysteries of the Ancients covers the history, discovery and exploration of several ancient sites. Topics include the statues of Easter Island, the ruins of Tiahuanaco in the Andes Mountains, the Great Pyramid of Khufu (also known as Cheops) in Egypt, and the many failed attempts to find the city of Eldorado in South America. Walker presents many hypotheses regarding these sites, one being that the Great Pyramid was actually an observatory and not a burial tomb at all. She also discusses the special powers of the pyramid shape.

     In Mysteries of the Cosmic Joker, readers will learn about coincidences, unusual phenomena, the remarkable similarities in the lives of identical twins who were separated at birth, trickster tales from various cultures, and strange repeated events (for example, the case of a man who, on two separate occasions, had a baby fall on him from a fourth storey window). Children will be intrigued by stories of rainfalls of animals, fruits, nuts and eggs (all of which scientists have attempted to explain, but there are holes in their hypotheses), and of events which seem more than mere coincidence. One such event is the sinking of the Titanic which occurred in April 1912, 14 years after a novel was published about Titan, a British ocean liner that sinks after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic in the month of April. This title is highly entertaining reading.

     Topics covered in Mysteries of the Mind include ESP, telepathy, remote viewing, psychometry (holding an object to determine its origin, use, former owner and other information, often employed in criminal investigations) and psychokinesis (moving an object without touching it, as demonstrated by Uri Geller). Several scientists are featured, including Upton Sinclair whose experiments resulted in a book entitled Mental Radio. As well, there is information about Project Stargate, designed by the United States government to test ESP in order to gather information on US enemies during the space race. According to the author, the jury is still out on whether ESP really exists.

     Mysterious Healing focuses on the healing power of touch and distant healing, the work of Edgar Cayce, and various Eastern and alternative healing methods. These methods include color therapy, colorpuncture (in which a thin beam of coloured light is shone onto the afflicted part of the body), psychic surgery, acupuncture, acupressure, t'ai chi, reiki, ayurvedic treatment, auras and iridology. Psychic healing experiments with plants and animals are explained. In this title, the author leaves the door open on the possibility that these alternative therapies have a place in western medicine, but she claims that most doctors do not believe in the healing methods described in the book.

     In Mysterious Predictions, readers will learn very basic facts about astrology and palmistry as well as the predictions of Nostradamus and modern-day astrologer Jeane Dixon. The author chooses her words carefully in this title, using terms such as "may have" or "might be" when discussing the validity of predictions, dreams and premonitions. Walker cautions readers not to believe every prediction because most astrologers will only tell of their predictions that came true, but their track records could show that they were wrong more often than they were right, and, in some cases (as in the predictions of Nostradamus), they are open to interpretation.

     No one is absolutely sure whether the city of Atlantis really existed, but it has been the fodder for much speculation, curiosity and legend. The Mystery of Atlantis describes some of city's possible locations around the world and the attempts by undersea explorers to find it, as well as the theories of how the city disappeared under the ocean. From Plato to Edgar Cayce, many theorists have tried to solve this mystery, but the search for Atlantis continues. Readers will be left with more questions than answers, one question, perhaps, being was Plato's story just an allegory or was it based on fact?

     Both educational and very entertaining, these books are sure to please. Though the author is aware that some people will cast doubt on the material presented in these titles, no one can dispute that the facts are anything but fascinating. Conservative schools, perhaps, might find that the information in some of the books is too "out there," but so many of these concepts are gaining acceptance, becoming more mainstream, that it would be hard to deny their right to be "heard."

Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a former teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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