Getting shipped off to spend the summer with a grandmother you’ve never met, who lives out in the middle-of-nowhere Washington State, while all of your friends have basketball camp, pool parties, and days of uninterrupted hanging out ahead of them is a pretty cruddy turn of events. To make it worse, what if your grandmother is the town kook and runs a space-themed “intergallactic” bed and breakfast that is crawling with weird guests and is the joke of the town? For middle-schooler Scrub, it’s his worst nightmare. And he has the whole summer ahead of him before he can go back home to Florida.
Grandma needs help at the B&B, and Scrub soon understands why – there really are aliens transporting in everyday to spend their summer vacations on the primitive backwater planet known as Earth. Scrub and Grandma have to come up with clever disguises for their alien guests, give them quick tutorials on how to behave on Earth, and spend a lot of time hiding their secret from the suspicious locals, who are headed up by a watchful, almost paranoid, sheriff who’s out to expose the B&B and run Grandma out of town. Scrub’s hope of making friends evaporates when he realizes that he has to do everything he can to hide Grandma’s secret and his life is made more complicated by the aliens he keeps having to rescue from near exposure around town.
Clete Barrett Smith’s Aliens on Vacation is full of mayhem, crazy cosmic characters, and just the right amount of coming-of-age humor. First and foremost, it’s a Men In Black inspired summer vacation adventure that readers will enjoy as much as a ride on Space Mountain. And who knows, after the ride is done, you may come away realizing that in life what starts out seeming really cruddy could end up being one of the best things that will ever happen to you. I bet Scrub sure does.
- Posted by Cori