Calkins Creek/Highlights, 2018
Ages 10 to adult
ISBN  hardcover: 978-1-62979-776-2;  eBook: 978-1-68437-143-3

Listen to Gail discuss SPOOKED! on the Out of Bounds Radio Program. Click Here.


On Halloween Eve 1938, people across America gathered around the radio to listen to their favorite Sunday evening program. Expecting to hear the latest drama from Orson Welles’s Mercury Theatre, many were alarmed when news bulletins interrupted the show. New Jersey had been rocked by mysterious explosions. The announcements continued, each more frantic than the last. Listeners feared the worst. Was America under attack?

this nonfiction title for young readers ages 10 to 14 explores in riveting detail the famous 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast. Jarrow highlights the artists behind the broadcast, the broadcast itself, the aftermath, and the repercussions of "fake news" today.



What Reviewers Say:

EDITORS’ CHOICE List for 2018, Booklist
BEST Books of 2018, School Library Journal
BEST Children’s Books of 2018, Washington Post
BEST of the BEST Books of 2019, Chicago Public Library
Starred Review, School Library Journal
Starred Review, Booklist
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Recommended, School Library Connection
Junior Library Guild Selection

"By using short chapters, varied font sizes, quotes, photographs, and illustrations from the source material--H.G. Wells's novel--[Jarrow] keeps readers involved in the fact-packed story... A skillfully written title that deserves space in middle and high school libraries." ~ School Library Journal, Starred Review

“An enriching bridge that connects history with current events.”  ~ Booklist, Starred Review

“A finely detailed narrative nearly as riveting as the broadcast... A grippingly told story that adeptly makes history fascinatingly relevant to the present.”  ~ Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Jarrow's engrossing analysis of an earlier era's 'fake news' provides timely reminders to readers, which are underscored in her author's note."  ~ Publishers Weekly,  Starred Review

"The takeaway lesson in thoughtful media consumption emerges effortlessly from this cautionary tale." ~ Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review

"Jarrow does a good job of making connections between the reactions to the broadcast and today's 'fake news' and hoaxes...This would be a fascinating addition to a research discussion about verifying your information and reputable sources." ~ School Library Connection, Recommended

"Jarrow infuses her tightly plotted narrative with plenty of drama and suspense while weaving in sufficient background information, biographical vignettes, and play-by-play commentary to establish context...it's an admirable feat of nonfiction storytelling." ~ Horn Book Magazine

"In 'Spooked!', Gail Jarrow engagingly promotes skepticism and the value of ferreting out the facts as she explains how an hour-long radio broadcast about invading aliens became an infamous episode in history." ~ Washington Post