From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—Students with an interest in the weird and unusual will find this book fascinating. It begins with an introduction to human senses and continues with chapters devoted to phenomena such as the "sixth sense," synethesia, and intuition. One of the most interesting sections discusses animals that use their senses in unusual ways, such as dogs that are trained to detect cancer by scent. The author liberally incorporates well-documented quotes from experts. Scientific explanations for many of the phenomena are evenly balanced with personal anecdotes from individuals with unusual experiences. The black-and-white illustrations and photographs are plentiful enough to make the text accessible to reluctant readers. Accurate, entertaining nonfiction.—Lindsay Cesari, Baldwinsville School District, NY
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From the author of ER Vets (2005), this volume focuses on phenomena that may be difficult to explain. It raises a broad range of topics, such as the history and study of paranormal experiences, the “super senses” of animals, the basis of intuition, the interpretation of coincidental events, the meaning of dreams, and the strange perceptions resulting from sensory areas in the brain that have unusual connections. Illustrated mainly with photos, the discussions are non-technical and quite readable, though often they provide brief overviews of subjects without reaching conclusions. For example, some readers will enjoy learning about a familiar phenomenon in the sidebar called “Musical Earworms,” while others will be disappointed not to know “why songs get stuck in our heads.” Jackson’s research is evident from the extensive source bibliography, which is arranged by chapter. Other appendixes include a lengthy glossary and lists of recommended books and Internet sites. The eye-zapping cover may draw browsers to this intriguing book. Grades 6-9. --Carolyn Phelan