"When her mother is abducted by aliens on Christmas Eve (or "Smekday" Eve since the Boov invasion), 11 year-old Tip hops in the family car and heads south to find her and meets an alien Boov mechanic who agrees to help her and save the planet from disaster."
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The age range suggested above (4-8) is a surprise. How many four-year-olds can enjoy a 432-page novel?
*GRADES* 4-8 seems more likely.
I'm a grown-up, but, FWIW, this is one of the best books I've ever read. I didn't want it to end.
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Front flap copy:
"Twelve-year-old Gratuity 'Tip' Tucci is assigned to write five pages on 'The True Meaning of Smekday' for the National Time Capsule contest, and she's not sure where to begin: when her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended to Earth, and aliens--called the Boov--abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, remnamed it 'Smekland' (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?
Gratuity's story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo, a futile journey south to find Gratuity's mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom, a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious, and an outrageous plan to save Earth from yet another alien invasion.
Fully illustrated with 'photos,' drawings, newspaper clippings, and comic sequences, this is a hilarious, perceptive, genre-bending novel by a remarkable new talent."
I read this book a couple of years ago, passed it on and liked it so much that I wanted another copy. This is a truly original story and one that I will read over and over. Interesting characters, exciting adventures. Like a great animated film, this is one that adults will like as much as children.
Pretty much my favorite book. Funny, profound, surprising. The characters are so real and likeable, and the dialogue is true and delightful. It is fun to read aloud. Years later, our family still quotes the book. "Werefore you knowing it?" It works on so many levels, and puts American history in a whole new light.
I don't usually read sci-fi books, but my 9 year old got this as a gift and we read it together. It's a really lovely book (it dragged a little in the second half), and it features one of the most endearing aliens in fiction. My daughter and I now talk in Boov. You are probably not going to want to swap it once you have it!