360I: Magic Ball (Children’s Sci-Fi)

I read this book as part of a children’s summer reading program at a small branch library next to my Dad’s hardware store in Clarksville, Indiana. The timing was some time between 1965-1968. Every book you read would earn a balloon stamp on a clown bookmark. You only received the stamp after giving a verbal recap of each book to the librarian.

I do not recall the title but I believe there were limited graphics inside the pages. A young boy finds a red ball in a field near his home. He quickly realizes that the ball can respond to his wishes. It can change color and size. Become heavy or light. It can even fly around the room and come to home when he calls.

Late in the book the ball starts to exhibit strange behavior as if it wants to escape. The boy follow the ball into the field where he meets the ball’s true owner: an alien child from a nearby space ship that has landed. The boy gives the ball back to the alien child and is thanked by the alien parent.

This book started my love of science fiction writing and led me to the likes of Wells, Verne, Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke and many others.

4 thoughts on “360I: Magic Ball (Children’s Sci-Fi)

  1. Kelly W

    I read this book! The title was Moonball, but I don’t remember the author. And I read a paperback from Scholastic, and I think there was a title change (I remember the title page saying “Moonball, formerly Xxxx”)

    I think the author’s name might have started with an A….Alan maybe?

    Not sure how helpful this will be.

  2. lenona

    The Moonball (1968) by Ursula Moray Williams. Not to be confused with Jane Yolen’s book, which came much later.

    From the back cover, I think:

    ” ‘It’s alive!’ cries William, holding the moonball. ‘How can it be?’ asks Gloria. ‘It doesn’t have any mouth, or eyes, or anything! It’s just a furry ball.’ ‘But it is alive,’ William says. ‘It’s licking my hand!’ Ever since the children first found the mysterious moonball, it has made them happy. But now the Professor has taken the moonball away to study it. He won’t give it back! And that’s how the trouble starts.”

  3. Gj

    The magic ball from Mars
    By Carl Biemer
    And or Star Child.
    Story is similar. I believe the book was published in the 1950s

  4. Gj

    Could be Magic Ball From Mars
    Alternate title Johnny And The Space-O-Tron.
    By Carl L. Biemiller
    These is a second book called StarChild maybe more?
    A kid meets alien receives a red ball
    That is commanded by thought.
    I think it was a training device.
    The kid encounters government officials
    (Military and other types)
    In one of the books the alien allows his don to stay with the kid for the summer.
    It was a pleasant read. Nobody gets hurt or goes off the deep end.


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