Tuesday, March 5, 2013
by Mark Fearing
When Bud moves out to the New Mexico desert with his scientist father, he feels like he is moving to the middle of nowhere. No friends, nothing ordinary, and most of all, a new school he has to attend. And of course, on his first day, he's almost late for the bus! Luckily, he catches it just in time.
But did he really catch the right bus? Instead of being full of kids, the bus is loaded with aliens! The bus is really a spaceship picking up all the alien kids from random planets for Cosmos Academy, the best space school in the galaxy!
Bud quickly makes a new friend in Gort, an friendly alien that helps Bud blend in, make even more friends, and not eat what looks to be a pile of food but is really a fellow student. On top of all of this, they discover the nefarious plots of the principle to use the school as a weapon. Together, they have to figure out how to get Bud home before the principle figures out that Bud is really an Earthling, the worst type of alien there is.
This was a funny example of being the new kid in town. Bud has to go through hazing, trying to stand up to bullies, making the bullies his friend, and even trying out for the sports team! Any kid that has been the odd one out would enjoy Bud's antics, and recognize a kindred spirit.
I also really enjoyed the attitude of trying something different if the first thing didn't work out. Bud and Gort have to try several different things before they finally get Bud home. This is a great example of perseverance and persistence. I think more kids need to learn not to give up if the first thing you try doesn't go right.
Over all, really fun book, lots of great morals but told in a way that it doesn't bash you over the head with them. Bud and Gort do get into mischief, but it would be hard to name a book that they don't get into mischief! Great book for boys, and it's actually fairly substantial, so keeps them occupied for more than 5 minutes. Fun read, I'll recommend it a lot!