Monday, April 9, 2012

Book Review- Aliens on Vacation by Cleve Barrett Smith

  Aliens on Vacation, by Clete Barrett Smith, is marvelous middle grade at its best. I highly recommend this book to all kids ages 8 and up. So, let me tell you about it.

The Story: David, aka “Scrub”, is being sent off to live with his grandmother in Washington, where she runs an inn called the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast. He would much rather stay at home in Florida and practice basketball with his friends, but his parents are determined, so off he goes.

Things get weird right from the start. The clientele at the Inn are strange, some eating aluminum foil and drinking bleach.
Others wear tacky tourist garb and sport dark sunglasses. It doesn’t take Scrub long to realize that the name of his Grandma’s Inn has a double meaning.

Knowing the truth brings Scrub all sorts of problems as he is brought into his Grandma’s world of “hide the alien”. Soon he is in waist deep, and though it is fun and exciting, he knows that if he messes up he could blow his grandma’s cover and bring down mean Sheriff Tate. And worse, he gets a shock when the girl he likes turns out to be Tate’s daughter.

My Thoughts: This is a delightful, fun hearted book. From the get go Scrub is a well liked character. Even when he doesn’t know about the aliens, he is kind and helpful with them, ignoring what he believes are just physical handicaps. Once he learns the truth, he helps his grandma out in every way he can, while still being the typical middle schooler, playing basketball and making friends.

I loved all the different aliens that appear. It is so much fun to watch them come and go at the Inn. As an added bonus, each chapter begins with the drawing of a portal in which a different alien appears. The characters are bold and hilarious. The plot is easy to follow so you know right where things are headed, but the little side jumps add plenty of fun.

The ending is a great twist. I can’t tell you, but it was not what I expected, so I loved it even more. I say, go get this one.

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