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by Mark Haddon

Published by U.S. edition: David Fickling Books, 2010
194 pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-75187-2

Ages 8 - 11

This fast-reading science-fiction spoof begins with friends Jimbo and Charlie overhearing two teachers at their school talking what seems to be gibberish. Naturally they conclude the teachers are space aliens, and it just so happens they’re right. The discovery puts Charlie and Jimbo in danger, and it isn’t long before Charlie is kidnapped. A sibling relationship of mutual disdain is transformed when Jimbo is saved from the same fate by his teenage sister Becky, who unwittingly disrupts the aliens’ kidnapping attempt, and then helps Jimbo try to save Charlie. To Jimbo’s surprise and relief, Becky turns out to be strong, steadfast, and quick with a stick in a crisis as they deal with the alien threat to the world. There’s plenty of humor (“The giant monkey spider walked up to me and held out a hairy leg . . . ‘My name is Ktop-p-páãçôñï”,’ said the spider. ‘It will cause a car crash in your mouth. But you can call me Britney.’”) and action in this fun-filled, tongue-in-cheek novel originally published in Britain in 1994 as Gridzbi Spudvetch! Mark Haddon revised the original story for this edition.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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