The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird Book Poster Image
Cute but thin picture book inspired by sci-fi TV series.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows how your imagination can play tricks on you, and that there's usually a reasonable explanation for things that seem spooky.

Positive Messages

Even ordinary things can seem mysterious or scary under the right circumstances. Sometimes the creatures we fear are equally afraid of us. When you're scared, a good friend can be a great comfort.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dana patiently helps calm Fox by explaining why things aren't as scary as they seem. Fox acknowledges overreacting and apologizes, and Dana assures him he's her best friend.

Violence & Scariness

Some mild scares, like creepy shadows and glowing eyes.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird features Fox Mulder and Dana Scully -- the main characters in the popular science fiction TV series The X-Files -- as children, getting spooked during a backyard campout. Most of the scary things they see and hear are easily explained, but they soon discover there really are aliens in the backyard. Young readers will be in on the joke, and any nervousness over the spooky themes will give way to giggles as Dana and Fox fail to notice a half-dozen cheery-looking aliens in the woods. Dana and Fox's friendship underpins the comforting tone of the book. A surprise Twilight Zone-style twist at the end could upset some kids.

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What's the story?

In THE X-FILES: EARTH CHILDREN ARE WEIRD, young Dana Scully is reading Fox Mulder a story about aliens while they camp in a backyard. Spooked, Fox is sure aliens have landed -- but Dana, ever the practical one, shows him how the scary shadow is just a dog and the spooky noise is an animal and an old swing. Fox chalks it up to his wild imagination ... until he and Dana find aliens inside their tent! The aliens run away as Dana and Fox flee into the house, baffling the adults relaxing in the glow of a TV screen.

Is it any good?

Grown-up fans of the sci-fi classic The X-Files will get a kick out of sharing this decent picture book with young future fans, but unfortunately it isn't nearly as clever or engaging as the TV show. The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird bears only a superficial connection to its namesake, though it's a fine enough scare-debunking story for very young kids (who won't be ready for Scully and Mulder's grown-up adventures for many years).

Kim Smith's charming illustrations capture the coziness -- and spookiness! -- of backyard camping. Attentive kids may spot the UFO in the opening pages, and they'll know the truth that's out there before the campers discover it. Some sensitive children might be upset by the surprise unmasking of aliens, so adults may want to peek at the end before reading it aloud.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way Dana eases Fox's fears in The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird. Who helps you when you're afraid?

  • Do you like scary stories? Why do you think people enjoy them?

  • Why do you think the aliens are so frightened?

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