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This collection of short tales provided a much-needed escape from reality while still allowing me to relate to the characters...no matter how strange some might be. What I love about the book is the author's creativity, simplicity, subtle messages (without coming across as preachy), and her ability to apply these stories to readers of all ages. In a time when so many stories lack true writing efficiency and focus more on excessive descriptive prose, Things from Other Worlds is a breath of fresh air for those of us who want fast-paced and compact storytelling. Additionally, it's difficult to take any one of these stories too seriously thanks to Johnson's humor, which only adds to the book's allure.
I was glad to see this author's story "Brains Coming Out Of My Ears," which I had read previously on a British fiction website called AlfieDog. It's a hilarious tale about a kid who gets handed a second brain by accident while standing in line in the Parts Department. The fast-paced adventure story definitely involves some gooey situations and sneaky fun with vocabulary. What kid wouldn't delight in the idea of "extra crinkle quota"?
I bought this book after reading a review and shared it with children I read with as part of a program geared to getting children in first and second grades to read. Their response was a uniform shout of pleasure. Each story brought laughter and questions so what better review than having children laughing and smiling when reading these stories.
I bought this for a friend's child. Before wrapping it I thought I'd read a story. Ended up reading the entire book. Buy this book--for a child, for yourself--but buy it! It is wonderful fun and has some lessons in human kindness and acceptance that we can all use. What a quirky, entertaining and thoughtful addition to any adult or child's library.
As a former school social worker my only suggestion is add some color pictures. Kids love visual.
I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one.
A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. 15 very well written MS-age children’s short stories (book). They were all very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. They all could make another great children’s movie, animated cartoons, mini TV series. Not for every kid so I will rate it at 4/5 stars.
Thank you for the free Goodreads; Autographed; paperback book Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)
It's easy to imagine Alice (of Wonderland fame) sitting under a tree reading these lovely stories to a cat curled up in her lap. Johnson's witty and gentle stories, each one a sly model of deft writing, are about and for children. Sometimes, as in "Trolls and Aliens," the characters do not seem to be of this world; other times ("Ivy's Vine") recognizable children interact with non-human creatures that display human sensibilities. But the underlying message is consistent and resonant: The world is a diverse and magical place that offers wonderful possibilities if your heart is open to embrace them. What Johnson sets forth here is a marvelous collection of allegories on human kindness, diversity and mutual respect -- along with some very funny, deliciously droll reflections on what it means to be a kid -- even a kid with brains coming out of his ears.
Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2015
I purchased this book for my 12 year old son and he loved it. He loved the characters and the short story format. He has even shared the book with several of his friends at school. I'm hoping he gets it back soon so I can read it too!