The true meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

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Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408859131
(Ages: 9-10) Recommended. Science Fiction. Aliens. Friendship. Survival. Humorous Stories. Adventure. The true meaning of Smekday is a humorous science fiction and adventure story, republished for the release of Dreamworks movie Home based on the novel. 'I've been living by myself since Mom left.' Eleven-year-old African-American-Italian Gratuity 'Tip' Tucci narrates the story of her survival after her mother was abducted by the Boov, purple aliens who have invaded America. Tip's a feisty protagonist who learns to drive their Chevy with cans of corn attached to her church shoes. She needs to travel to Florida, the state where the Boov have relocated all the people of the United States. With her cat, Pig, and maps from the Internet, Tip sets out for a three day drive to Florida to find her mother. Along the way, she meets a Boov mechanic named J. Lo, who transforms her car into Slushious, a hovering vehicle. Unfortunately J. Lo is on the run, after mistakenly advertising the Boov's whereabouts to their alien enemies - the Gorg.
The road trip is a wild ride. J. Lo and Tip's friendship grows as they search for food - J. Lo enjoys toilet deodoriser blocks - find shelter, meet new friends and avoid their enemies. They learn resilience and resourcefulness, as they are forced to travel from Florida to Arizona to the new home of the citizens of America.
The black-and-white illustrations include cartoon panels, drawings and Tip's Polaroid photos; these explain the aliens' antics, their transport, Boov history, the settings - Roswell, Florida and Happy Mouse Kingdom.
For the confident reader who enjoys science fiction, aliens, road trips and fictional alien dialogue, The true meaning of Smekday is an exciting novel.
Rhyllis Bignell