by Peter Nelson
illustrations by Rohitash Rao
I'm not rating this one, because it's a kid's novel and I'm not sure I'm the best person to rate a kid's book. I'm also not sure why I think this..... Oh heck -
I give it a ****** for making me laugh so hard, so consistantly - click on cover for excerpt
I read this book to TWO classes this year. Because each class only meets in the library once a week, and we try to get reading AND check-out of new books done in 20 minutes, it took a long time to read this book. However I and each class enjoyed this book very much. We tried to get through a chapter each week, sometimes more. I looked forward to reading this every week because I knew from the first chapter that we would be having a lot of laughs. There is nothing quite like reading to a class that is laughing uproariously because of the humor in the book.
The book is about a "normal" video-playing kid, who get's paired up for a playdate with the "nerd" of the neighborhood and their adventures. There's also a neighbor, Sammi (girl) who is secondary character. She's the type of kid that gets put in many activities, Karate, balley, soccer, all kinds of things. She never has any downtime - always busy. Alex is the kid that loves playing video games. He is obsessed (aren't we all?) especially with a game called Alien Slayer and has promised his parents that if they buy him the latest game, he would never play another video game all summer after he beats the game. Little did he know that Alien Slayer 3D was coming out - complete with gamesuits and holographic imaging and......
His parents have built him a Jungle Gym - this is important later in the book. They have also paired him up on a playdate with Herbert. Herbert of the Herbert's Wormhole. Herbert takes apart all kinds of things and re-works them in strange and wondrous ways.
Alex and Herbert end up in the future - 100 years into the future. This future contains Aliens, and t-ball. Everyone in the town of Merwinsville loves T-Ball very much. VERY much. All the humans seem to be named after states. All the aliens are named things like GOR-DON, or CA-ROL. They all have mustaches and toupes - even the females. They all speak with Aussie accents complete with "g-day, mate".
While Alex and Herbert are in the future, they make some friends and some enemies. Alex's video game playing addiction/history is both a hindrance and an asset to them. The situations that Alex and Herbert get into are hilarious. Sammi plays a big part in saving them from a tense situation. There are all kinds of little details within the story - a huge museum dedicated to a history of G'daliens (the aliens) and their good works helping the humans of earth, the new technology throughout the city, the T-Ball game and the local pizzaria, the jungle gym - more detail would definitely be spoilers.
I loved reading this book. It's a great book that will keep kids of a variety of ages interested. If I was interested in this book, complete with laughing so hard tears came - I think any parent would enjoy reading this along with their child. I had fun reading out loud the narrative and the dialogue. The dialogue between the characters was great - exactly how I hear some of the kids talking to each other (minus the swear words!). It's hilarious with humor that adults can enjoy as much as kids. I can honestly say that it's one of the funniest books that I've read in a long time. The plot is pretty good too - with a bit of a cliffhanger - a cliffhanger done in pictures. There are illustrations throughout the book, which added to the whole reading experience.
If their are any parents or educators, librarians, etc looking for a good solid entertaining book, this would be one. I'm hoping to find a sequel to Herbert's Wormhole. I know that every student who checked out this book from the library loved this book.
Speculative Reading Challenge
Young Adult Reading Challenge