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The True Meaning of Smekdayby Adam Rex
Synopses & Reviews
It all starts with a school essay.
When twelve-year-old Gratuity ("Tip") Tucci is assigned to write five pages on "The True Meaning of Smekday" for the National Time Capsule contest, 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? Or maybe with Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on Earth and the aliens — called Boov — abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it "Smekland" (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?
In any case, 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 comics sequences, this is a hilarious, perceptive, genre-bending novel by a remarkable new talent.
"Who knew the end of the world could be so hilarious? With a misfit cast of characters led by a precocious 11-year-old narrator named Gratuity 'Tip' Tucci and a bumbling alien named J.Lo who has an appetite for dental floss and air fresheners, Rex's high-octane fantasy could fairly be called an apocalyptic comedy. After the Boov (technologically advanced aliens) conquer Earth (or Smekland, as they call it, after its discoverer), they decide that humans must live on preserves; all Americans must move to Florida. Tip, driving her mother's car with her cat Pig for a passenger, meets the unexpectedly helpful Boov J.Lo, who, she later discovers, has bungled a mission and is on the lam. Parallels between the Boov and European settlers and their treatment of Native Americans deepen the impact of the story, but the author goes well beyond delivering a single political message. Incorporating dozens of his weird and wonderful illustrations and fruitfully manipulating the narrative structure, Rex skewers any number of subjects, from Disney World to various fleeting fads. Some of the best jokes come from throwaways and from J.Lo's and Tip's attempts to understand each other (when Tip asks if his society has boys and girls, he says, 'Of course. Do not to be ridicumulous,' and calmly lists the 'seven magnificent genders' of the Boov). Picture book aficionados will already know Rex from Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Pssst! (reviewed Sept. 10); now another audience can savor his wit. Ages 8-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[An] imaginative, wacky, hilarious sci-fi story." School Library Journal
Ben has been an underdog his whole life. But when he meets Merlin—the Merlin—the wizard delivers devastating news: a vicious band of aliens are approaching, and Ben could be the champion Earth desperately needs.
Soon Ben joins the Round Table Reboot, where legendary heroes are training a new generation to battle the deadly threat. They have a secret weapon: X-Calibur. But this time X-Calibur is not a sword — it's a spaceship — and only the right kid can awaken its powers. All Ben has ever wanted is to be a hero but is it in the stars for him?
Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect.
But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it.
Soon Trix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient alien artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel the secrets of her own pastif she can survive long enough.
About the Author
Adam Rex is the illustrator of The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake, Ste-e-e-e-eamboat A-Comin' by Jill Esbaum, and Small Beauties by Elvira Woodruff. He wrote and illustrated Tree Ring Circus and the New York Times best-seller Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. Adam lives with his wife in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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