Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Book Review Club - Aliens on Vacation


Aliens on Vacation
by Clete Barrett Smith
middle grade

Perhaps it's the alien state of my house under demolition/renovation that made me identify so completely with the shock David experiences when his grandma's B&B turns out to be a hotel for aliens. Others might argue it's that I have a teenager in the house, a veritable alien in our midst. Could be both.

Not to mention the excellent writing.

Basic premise: Twelve year old David, a.k.a. Scrub, spends the summer with his fraternal grandmother in the Pacific Northwest, far from his home in Florida. His grandmother lives in a sleepy little town well of the beaten track and David is sure summer is going to be majorly boring...until he discovers his grandma runs a hotel for aliens vacationing on planet Earth.

Let the fun begin!

Every dressed up an alien to "go native" on planet Earth?
How about bought groceries for them?
Or played a game of b-ball?

Scrub's life isn't all fun and games. Sheriff Tate suspects more goes on in the Intergalactic B & B than meets the eye. Seven foot guests and Scrub's ginormous squid "pet" he takes for walks have gotten his attention. They've gotten Amy, his daughter's, attention, too. She hides in the bushes to catch the truth on film. Scrub does his best to keep Amy from the B&B to protect his grandma's secret, but Amy isn't so easily put off. She's a space buff. Plus, she's friendly. And, well, Scrub kinda likes her.

This is a fun science fiction romp bursting with creativity and imagination. My daughter would NOT let me stop reading at night. And when we finished, the first words out of her mouth were, "When's the next book coming out?" She is in love with this series. She wants to email the author every other day as if he were her buddy.

What's really great for the adult in me is that there is meat to the grammar and word choice of this story. It's a great transitional book for kids who do chapter books but are ready for more demanding novels. The story keeps them entertained while challenging their linguistic and comprehension skills.

From an author's perspective, I really enjoyed the close third POV. At times, I forgot the book was in third person. It felt that much like first person. Which is really another reason it works so well as a transitional, tweenish book for kids graduating on to harder reads.

The one thing I wasn't completely sold on was the ending. I like them short and sweet. The last chapter ends that way, but then there's an epilogue. I think the story stands well without it, but I'm hashing literary hairs. It certainly doesn't make the piece any less fun to read. And given the fact that my daughter never wanted me to stop, it was helpful for her to fade away, rather than cut.

For more Spring flings, hop over to Barrie Summy's site!

29 comments:

Sarah Laurence said...

Stacy, you write the best reviews. This one made me laugh, as a mom of an alien teenaged boy (wait till 2nd semester senior year when they really go out of orbit). I love the premise of an alien B&B. I wish I could go back in time to read this to my kids. We've moved onto YA.

I replied to your comment at JUST ONE DAY on my blog.

Lucy said...

I found myself smiling while reading your review. Sounds like a fun book and it's a cute cover.

Barrie said...

I know a child who is perfect for this book! I'm going to email her the link to your review. Thanks for reviewing, Stacy! Especially with your house in such disarray. ;)

Linda McLaughlin said...

This book sounds like loads of fun and something my nephew might like. Thanks for the great review.

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muhammad farhan said...

This book totally made me laugh so hard, haha, no seriously, wait the aliens on vacation will launching the second part of those boook :)

mazda 3 edmunds said...

like this book too, i want to recommended to my aunt that have 5 years old boy
see my review about mazda 3 edmunds here

LokerKata said...

cool article thanks

Kata Mutiara said...

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Cara Membuat Blog said...

Probably, Aliens on Vacation is the most book that could spend all of my time to read it, really appreciate these writer, hopefully it will be continue to the chapter 2 :)

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