Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Aliens are Coming!” as Want to Read:
Aliens are Coming!
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Aliens are Coming!

by
4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  206 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
A picture-book account of one of the most famous pieces of radio history!

* “Sandwiched between a look at Depression-era radios and a set of fanciful period advertisements, McCarthy delivers a semi-serious account of the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast, illustrating both passages from the script and briefly told descriptions of widespread panic with smudgy cartoon scenes f
...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Dragonfly Books (first published February 14th 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Aliens are Coming!, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lisa Vegan
May 08, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Luann
Wonderful illustrations that feel very 1938.

Interesting telling of people’s panic during this famous radio broadcast.

Interesting background about what happened before and after the first radio broadcast.

It’s interesting that all the books and newspaper articles listed at the end in the bibliography all seem to be geared to adults because this is a children’s book.

When I was a kid and I heard about this incident, I always thought people were so silly to believe it was a newscast, but given how gu
...more
Brandi Smith
This nonfiction picturebook won the Grand Canyon Reader Award for Nonfiction in 2008. It is intended for children ages 5-8(P). In this book McCarthy illustrates the chaos the ensues on Halloween night in 1938 when a group of pranksters takes to the radio airways and announces "Aliens Are Coming!".
Much of the text in this book is actual commentary from the original radio broadcast. McCarthy does an excellent job depicting the mass hysteria that this prank caused. The illustrations are very true t
...more
Laura
Jun 04, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nonfiction picture book about the famous 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast. As always, McCarthy's illustrations are fun and charming; in this selection, they also have a 1930's feel. The text includes a child-friendly excerpt from the actual broadcast. The author's notes and bibliography at the end are extensive and helpful. Another Goodreads member commented that this could be a great text for a library lesson about not always believing what you read or see in the news.
Kerri
Jul 15, 2013 Kerri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book to use to discuss reliable sources with a class of young students. It could also be used to give the background information for a study in radio broadcasts, the 1930's, or dramatic performances. Very well done with an extensive author's note in the back.

Will definitely be using this one with classes!
Luann
Very fun! I want to use this next year in a library lesson. Just because you hear it on the radio (or see it on TV, or read it on the Internet) doesn't mean you should automatically believe it!
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I loved the illustrations and I learned a few things about this historic incident that I didn't know before. I'll have to re-listen to this broadcast!
Bethany
Oct 28, 2016 Bethany rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read for 5420 class

jNF of the 1928 radio broadcast of HG Wells's War of the Worlds that created a panic from listeners.

McCarthy has done a poor job at recreating the panic. The story is disjointed and told from an odd tense. I wouldn't recommend this book to readers.
Kelly Risinger
great connection to not believing everything on tv or internet.
Amy
Now this is a subject that I would have *never* considered as a viable topic for a children's picture book, but that's why I'm not an author and Meghan McCarthy is! The pictures in Aliens are Coming are great, and they easily conveyed time, mood and setting. I also loved the illustrations of the aliens, and let me just say, the eyes that McCarthy typically draws on her characters are *perfect* for these aliens!

I did have some reservations about the way this book was written. I wasn't sure that
...more
Amanda
Oct 07, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On October 30, 1938, many Americans were shocked when a special news bulletin interrupted their usual evening radio program: Explosions had been observed on Mars! Meteorites were falling in New Jersey! And, something unimaginable was making its way towards New York City! “WAS THIS THE END OF THE WORLD?”

Winner of the 2007 ALA Notable Books for Children, Aliens are Coming: The True Account of the 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast by Meghan McCarthy presents a playful rendition of Orson Welles
...more
Teresa
This story takes place in 1938 when TV wasn't invented yet. People got thier entertainment from the radio. One day a special announcement happens. It shocks the nation. The illustrations in this piece are dark and give a good effect of what is taking place in the book. Reading this story reminded me of a TV series I used to watch as a kid, "War of the Worlds". It was in black & white, but I didn't care because it made it less scary than the color thrillers I used to watch. I gave this book 4 ...more
Elissa Schaeffer
Jun 10, 2014 Elissa Schaeffer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had already known the story of Orson Welles and his "War of the Worlds" broadcast before I read this book, but I didn't know all of the details or realize the extent of impact. Like how many times they warned the listeners that it was a work of fiction. Or that history repeated itself in 1944, 1949, and 1974.

As someone else has mentioned, the story is great fun (and so are the illustrations!) but the real information comes at the end in the Author's Note. It truly is one of the best illustrati
...more
Scottsdale Public Library

What a fun and kid-friendly account of the 1938 "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast! This was the 2008 winner of the Grand Canyon Reader Award in non-fiction. A brief intro to the event, followed by actual dialogue from the Mercury Theatre program is shown alongside great illustrations. But I was also interested by the author's note in the back, which goes into more detail about the confusion & aftermath from the broadcast. I learned new facts, such as how a radio station in Rhode Island al
...more
Terri
Apr 01, 2008 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all ages
Countless listeners mistook Orson Welles' dramatic 1938 radio broadcast based on H.G. Wells' science fiction novel The War of the Worlds for an actual news report, resulting in mass hysteria across the United States. Author illustrator McCarthy has used her color palette to allow readers to easily distinguish fact from fiction in this picture book based upon that event. Real events are depicted in black and white while the lurid fiction is conveyed in color paintings infused with red tones remin ...more
Joe
Jun 30, 2015 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful way to engage children to historical fiction with a sci-fi twist. This book, recalling the October 30, 1938 Orson Welles production of War of the Worlds, gives children a fantastic insight into the pre-television era of the US. Unsuspecting listeners freaked out, thinking that they were being attacked by aliens, when it actuality, it was just a radio show. This accurate perspective on 1930’s news and entertainment broadcasting shows how easily out imaginations can run wild. This ...more
Molly
I've always loved the story of the War of the World's broadcast...its effect is just so fascinating, and this retelling for children definitely does the story justice. The main text briefly describes the events and the accompanying illustrations are wonderful (the remind me of Mo Willems, especially Knuffle Bunny). Following the story an extensive author's note describes the events leading up to the play's creation and various other interesting facts. The author also maintains a website www.alie ...more
Susan
Educational and entertaining account of the 1928 War of the Worlds radio broadcast that sent our nation into panic. It seems amazing that someone would believe such a report, and yet so many did. This picture book does a pretty good job of showing how. There is a two page spread following the story of details and factoids about it, including some humorous anecdotes. The interesting conclusion of the author was that someone WILL try it again.... The vivid illustrations are instructive and fun too ...more
Lindsay Rogers
The illustrations of this book turn a wonderful historical story into a masterpiece! I love how the "real life" pictures are depicted in black and white and the radio story is in vivid color. The story is also presented in such a way as to not reveal that the broadcast is a play instead of reality until the very end - just like how it happened! I can't wait to share this book with my little sisters (7 & 11)!
Debbie Hayes-miller
This story reinacts the true account of the 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast which terrified the country. This picture book shows aliens and spacecrafts coming to earth as told by the broadcast. H.G. Wells wrote this sci-fi script to scare people but didn't understand the pandemonium it would cause all across the country. A very interesting Author's Note at the back of the book.
Lauren Suchomski
This book is a retelling of the War of the Worlds radio broadcast that caused panic across the US. I have heard that it was not as panic inducing as it had been talked up as, but this books is still an interesting account of the event. It would be a great read aloud to talk about how we get information and how we communicate.
Lesly Bruner
Oct 28, 2013 Lesly Bruner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Aliens are Coming is a true account of the 1938 broadcast of The War of the Worlds that threw citizens into panic. This is an interesting topic for kids and relates well to the science fiction many students are reading today. It is also a great way to introduce this historical event to kids in a way that is entertaining, quick, and easy to understand!
Leigh
Amusing look at Welle's broadcast of a Martian invasion. What makes the book so funny is the actual radio dialogue (super cornball) and how everybody beleived it was authentic. The illustrations are cartoonish, with a depiction of what the aliens would look like, based on the radio script. Since no science is involved, the aliens are completely ludicrous and therefore, absurd and funny.
Lisa
Jul 26, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-kids-books
This is a cute story retelling the events that took place in october 1938 when CBS radio broadcast the program War of the Worlds. My boys really enjoyed learning about this event in history and it sparked lots of conversation about not being able to believe all that you hear/read/see.
Juliette
Oct 06, 2012 Juliette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an awesome and fun children's book about the 1938 radio theatre presentation of War of the Worlds. I love the illustrations. There is a great photo of Orson Wells in the author's note, which also includes great facts about this historical event.
Karen
Aug 15, 2016 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
Interesting read, especially after we have read "Listen Buddy". This book led to great discussions about listening and how things can get out of control when your not paying attention..krb 8/13/16

Went on Youtube and listened to a short version of the original radio broadcast...krb 8/14/16
Matthew
This book is wildly engaging. Kids don't believe that this really happened when I share this with them. Still, they are drawn in by the story. I really love this book. If you haven't read this, take a few minutes to give it a look.
MCPLD Youth Department
This is the account of the practical joke that fooled American radio listeners in 1938 and made Orson Welles famous. Great illustrations and simple text make it a great resource for the young reader.
Stephanie
Jun 30, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My sons loved this book. They are 4 and 6. They thought the illustrations were great and were shocked to find out it is a true story!
Amy
Dec 31, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Children's non-fiction in picture book format. This isn't one of her best, but still an informative read.
Mark
Sep 25, 2007 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children/those interested in "War of the Worlds"
Shelves: childrensbooks
This book is an extremely quick read. The art is okay, but what is really cool is the the little blurb in the back about the radio broadcasts that followed the famous 1938 broadcast.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II
  • One Giant Leap
  • America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell
  • Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World (Junior Library Guild Selection)
  • Pop's Bridge
  • Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia
  • Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story Of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way To Fame, Fortune & Swimsuit History!
  • Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend)
  • Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America
  • Just a Second
  • Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country)
  • I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures
  • Tibet: Through the Red Box
  • Redwoods
  • The Enemy: A Book About Peace
  • Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books
  • Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America
  • Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci
196948
Children's book author of many wonderful fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, including the below following. Meghan's books have won the IRA-CBC Children's Choice, ALA Notable, Kirkus Reviews Reviewer's Choice, Booklist Best Books, NYPL 100 Best Books, SLJ Best Books, and so on. Blah blah blah, what Meghan really wants to do is drive really fast and jump in really long grass until she g ...more
More about Meghan Mccarthy...

Share This Book