The Magic Ball From Mars


Carl L. Biemiller

Book Report by Will Libs 3B

April 2006

The Magic Ball From Mars

Book Report

By Will Libs

Main Characters:
Johnny Jenks – Johnny is the star of the book! Johnny is a farm boy who lives out in the country. He has adventures in the fields, catches fireflies at dusk, shoots off rockets and discovers a flying saucer. I think he is about my age and in elementary school.

Molly Jenks - Johnny’s Mom. She is a great cook and a really smart Mom. She helps Johnny with his projects and takes good care of him with super food. She also talks a lot about manners, maybe she should come and talk to our class!

George Jenks - Johnny’s Dad. He is a physicist, and physicists are special people. He works with the Atom bomb and energy experiments. He goes to Washington D.C. a lot to work with the government.

Supporting Characters:
Mr. Murray- A scientist friend of Mr. Jenks based in Washington.
Colonel Wingate- A military guy from the Pentagon.
Mr. Kimber- Mr. Jenks boss in Washington.
Mr. Jervis- A local farmer who lives next door.
Minstrel- Johnny’s dog, which is an Airedale.
“The Man From Out There”- He is the spaceman who comes down from Mars. He gives Johnny the mysterious Magic Ball, from “out there”.

The book; The Magic Ball from Mars by Carl L. Biemiller, was written in 1952 and originally called Johnny and the Space-o-tron. I think this story takes place on a farm in the 1950’s somewhere in the northern part of New Jersey where there islots of land and open spaces. The story begins at the Jenks farm out in the pasture one night when Johnny meets the “man from out there”. Then the setting changes as Johnny and his Dad go to Washington and back talking to scientists and military people. They end up back at the farm and have many mysterious “Sci Fi” adventures!

The problem:
At the start of the story Johnny goes off into the pasture to hunt fireflies. Just as it is getting dark a bright blue flying saucer touches down right in front of him and a man they call “The Man from Out There” gets out and talks to Johnny. He is a friendly and he is from Mars! He decides to give Johnny a special ball made of something called “Marsquartz”, it looked like a marble, milky colored but sometimes it glows red.
This is when all the trouble starts, that Magic Ball had special powers and leads to some tricky situations for Johnny. The ball is a thinking machine, by that I mean the ball sort of talks to Johnny and does what he wants. The ball also lets Johnny talk to the “Man Out There” about stuff.
Johnny and his Dad go to Washington to meet up with the men at the Pentagon; Colonel Windgate, Mr. Kimber and Mr. Murphy. They ask Johnny a ton of questions and get him to show them what the Magic Ball can do. These military guys are pretty worried about the powers of the Magic Ball and what if some bad guys stole it or even worse, grabbed Johnny! Johnny gets to go to the Atomic Energy Commission where they make bombs and he has a great time with Mr. Murphy at his secret office shooting off a rocket.
Now the real problem starts; Flying Saucers appear and Johnny, his Dad and Mr. Murphy run for cover. They decide Johnny needs to leave and go home and hide. On their way home Johnny and his Dad get run off the road by bad guys who want to kidnap Johnny and steal the Magic Ball. These nasty men are really mean and they hurt Johnny’s Dad by whacking him on the head. Johnny gets upset and makes the Magic Ball burn a hole in the bad guy’s pants, the car flips and Johnny runs off to hide. When the rotten men try to grab Johnny the “Man from Out There” comes down in his flying saucer to save Johnny. The “Man from Out There” feels terrible about the Magic Ball causing so much trouble for Johnny.

The Solution:
“The Man from Out There” realizes that giving Johnny the Magic Ball was not such a good idea. He tells Johnny that his job as a “Man from Out There” is to help people on earth not do dumb things to each other, so that is why he comes to visit, to check up on us and make sure we treat each other right. The Magic Ball has not made people act the way he thought they should so he asks Johnny to give it back. He said it is not nice to take a gift back but sometimes a gift is a mistake. So, in the end Johnny gives the Magic Ball back plus a bonus! He gives the “Man from out There’ his Ted Williams baseball card for his son and he is really happy to know it will go back in space to a galaxy far FAR away.
I guess the moral of the story is we now know the “Man from Out There” came to visit to help us earth people and if you think that giving a present might turn out to be a big mistake then don’t give it at all At St. Francis we talk about a “Man from Out There” too he is called GOD!

Wishing all the best for Will's Class 3B teacher, Miss Julie Fantone!

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