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From the Way-Too-Real Aliens series, volume 1

by Pamela F. Service & illustrated by Mike Gorman

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7613-7918-8
Publisher: Darby Creek

Josh Higgins, boy author, finds out what happens when he really lives in the world he created.

After winning a local young-writer award, Josh is struck with writer’s block and loses hope that he can be a two-time winner. Adding to his misery, kids from school make fun of him, and his little sister Maggie has to step in to protect him. When aliens invade Maggie’s play rehearsal and drag the siblings to Yastol, Josh realizes that the planet he invented is both all too real and filled with something these blue, stick-of-gum–shaped, noodly-armed aliens want: aafth, a purple stone, flecked with silver. This stone fuels their weapons and spaceships, and these greedy aliens come equipped with a machine that forces Josh and Maggie to take them to Yastol. A quick pace—punctuated with the siblings’ spats, creatures with polka dots, slavers, deserts, bird droppings and Josh’s frequent references to his original story—moves this volume along nicely. Every time Josh faces a new villain or challenging environment, he wishes he has written his story differently, allowing young readers to ponder the act of making a story.

Readers ready for longer chapter books will enjoy having some science fiction to choose from and welcome further adventures. (Science fiction. 8-12)