40 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-894379-19-5
DDC j133.1





Illustrations by Joe Weissmann
Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


Here are two more volumes in the ever-popular Strange Science series.
Like their companion volume, Mummies (2000), both are written by veteran
science writer Sylvia Funston, who occasionally likes to blur the thin
line between the natural and the supernatural. Although the subject
matter is designed to send shivers down little spines, Funston manages
to keep her text nonthreatening. Puns, puzzles, and cute little theme
characters help keep the tone light as Funston delves into the fact and
folklore of each subject. In Ghosts, she explains that while nearly
every culture in the world believes in ghosts, the way people react can
be very different. The Japanese set aside one day a year to honor
ghosts, while the Germans take extreme measures to keep their ancestors
from finding their way home. Funston explores some of the most haunted
places in the world and then lists the scientific evidence that both
support and argue against ghostly spirits.

In Monsters, she travels the world to uncover legendary beasts. Some
are already super celebrities, like Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster and
North America’s Bigfoot. Others are lesser known but equally scary,
like China’s Gong-Gong and Australia’s Bunyip. In all books in this
series, the text is well-spiced with photographs, colorful
illustrations, and quirky little sidebars. If someone tells you that
science is dull, they obviously have not read a Strange Science book.
Highly recommended.



Funston, Sylvia., “Ghosts,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,