Friday, December 12, 2014

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn by Greg Leitich Smith, illustrated by Andrew Arnold

Aidan used to think his parents' space-themed motel was pretty cool. But now that he's getting older he wishes they could live somewhere else - and that it wasn't so much work! Even the weird stuff, like the strange new girl, Dru, and his friend Louis' obsession with aliens isn't much fun anymore. But when there's a series of strange and frightening occurrences around the latest space launch, Aidan finds himself launched into a shocking adventure and more in tune with aliens than he ever thought he'd be.

This is a pretty straight-forward, old-fashioned, aliens-among-us, scifi adventure. There's not a lot of character development or introspection and the twist at the end felt forced and didn't really make sense. I'm not really a fan of science fiction and it took me, well, let's just say it's a good thing I had this checked out on my work card which has no due dates...

However, I'm not sorry I bought this for the library and I definitely recommend it. Why? Because it's so hard to find simple, plot-driven, short books for the middle grade age group. Bonus points that it's science fiction (even hard to find, despite how much kids love a good alien adventure) and the touch of diversity with Louis' prosthetic leg and Dru's alien origins.

Verdict: This won't win any awards but kids will thoroughly enjoy it and will be pleased to find a fun story about aliens that's not daunting in length or text. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781596438354; Published 2014 by Roaring Brook Press; Purchased for the library

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