It's the one-year anniversary of the Kid Lit Blog Hop, so hop on over and check out all the great kidlit offerings--just click on the badge above to see the list!
Seventh Grade (Alien!) Hero, by K. L. Pickett. 114 pages.
Published: MuseItUp Publishing, 2013
Source: Free day, I think. I can't really remember when I put this on my ereader, but there it was.
Seventh-grader Dustin Cotter is struggling. His mom and dad have broken up, and he and his mom have moved to boring Cactus Flats, Arizona where he doesn't know anyone and no one (he thinks) is interested in astronomy. Then he goes out chasing a meteor, finally meets the cutest girl in his class, and starts to find his place. . . all the while protecting an alien and avoiding some scary individuals who would like to take it away.
I was a little worried when I first started this book. The first chapter is heavy on exposition, back-story, and scene-setting, and the tone doesn't ring quite true. But once the action begins (in the second or third chapter), the narrative style smooths out and I was caught up in it. In fact, the action is fast, fun, and just exciting enough (a hint of danger, but little sense of serious peril), and kept me zipping right through this little story. My biggest complaint, aside from the awkward beginning, was a sense that things were working out a little too smoothly--not in the rescue-the-alien story, but in Dustin's social life. It ended up feeling not only a little too easy, but a little too much like a "lesson" about making assumptions about others, getting to know people before judging them, etc. All good things to do, but the easy route to friends made the lesson just a little too clear.
I'm not completely sure what age this is aimed at. The writing seems a little simple (and the story short) for Junior High (where the characters are), so maybe upper elementary. At that age, the hint of "romance" shouldn't be a problem, and the easy reading might go down well.
A decent read, but not one that blew my socks off. Just a fun story with a not-quite-predictable ending.
I picked up Seven Grade (Alien!) Hero on a free day at Amazon, and received nothing from the author or publisher for this review, which is my opinion and only mine.