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ALIEN IN A BOTTLE by Kathy Mackel

ALIEN IN A BOTTLE

By Kathy Mackel

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-029281-4
Publisher: HarperCollins

Dreams and nightmares both come true in Mackel’s latest sci-fi farce, as two human middle-schoolers get caught up in a feud between an alien junk dealer and a violently dissatisfied customer. Focused on becoming a glass artist despite his father’s opposition, Sean picks up a bottle that turns out to be the damaged spacecraft/warehouse (much, much bigger inside than outside) of interstellar huckster Tagg Orion. This gives Sean an in with classmate Olivia, who has her eyes on the stars. The bad news: Orion is barely a step ahead of Klingon-like Dinn Tauro, to whom he has sold a non-detachable Dream Ring that brings the monsters and horrors of bad dreams to terrifying life. Mackel tucks in family and friendship issues without slowing down the pace appreciably, and after a whirl of chase scenes, food fights, battles with giant rats and dives into dumpsters, resolves all conflicts in ways that allow both of her young folk to display some unusual talents. Fans of the “Time Warp Trio” and similar silly-but-not-stupid fantasy will enjoy this romp. (Fiction. 10-12)