Saturday, January 05, 2008

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex

Wowsers. This was book was such a rollicking read. An eleven-year-old girl journeys with a Boov alien in a flying car, all the way from Florida to Arizona---and together they save the planet from the Gorg aliens. The two main characters, Gratuity, the human, and J. Lo, the Boov, were amazingly well-drawn and believable. I can't think of any other non-human character that I've ever enjoyed knowing as much as J. Lo.

I also loved how deep questions regarding cultural imperialism, language, identity, and what it means to be human were all tossed around in very playful, yet thoughtful ways.

So--you've got great characters, a wild, gyrating, plot, and a style so funny and sarcastic and self-aware that the real life author Adam Rex, must have invented some sorta scientific contraption to actually channel the voice of a sassy, thirteen-year-old girl. (The book is Gratuity's entry, as a thirteen-year-old, into an essay contest titled The True Meaning of Smekday.)

I am amazed this book hasn't shown up on more of the blogs I follow. I wonder why. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, there are illustrations---many polaroid camera shots of the characters and also a few comic book inserts that reminded me a bit of Dragon Ball Z. There was some PG-13 language. But not much.

Much thanks to the nameless booklover at Books of Wonder for this incredible find. And if you decide to "push" this book in your classroom, or if you just want some more info on the Boov invasion, here is a great place to start.

By the way, that's what I wanna be called: A Kid Lit Pusher. Watch out for me, all you not-yet-addicted children, once you get hooked, there's no turning back.

1 comment:

Megan Germano said...

I am so laughing to myself right now. I am having a complete DUH moment. Adam Rex was the author who visited my school district this year. It was like no one had ever heard of him. There was completely NO BUZZ what-so-ever. In fact on the day he came to my school, I was out at a meeting. Now I am so mad I didn't pay closer attention early. All this buzz going on in Kidlit world and I had a chance to meet the guy, but instead sat and listened to people talk about the same old C-R-A-P at a professional meeting. DUH!