Spaceheadz, by Jon Scieszka (lexile: 580; AR book level: 4.2; 164 pp)
It’s back-to-school-time here in Decatur — new classroom, new friends, new mission to save the world from being turned off. Hmm … the new mission not part of your plans? Well, it could be if you join 5th grader Michael K. in this combination book-and-online-adventure called Spaceheadz!
On Michael’s first day at a new school, he finds himself stuck in the “slow” reading group with two other new kids, Bob & Jennifer — who are a little weird. They eat pencils, and talk like TV commercials. Then Bob tells him they’re Spaceheadz from another planet, and their commander, Major Fluffy, is disguised as the class hamster. Everything they know about Earth they’ve learned from TV and radio ads, so almost everything they say echoes some well-known commercial.
The aliens are here to keep Earth from being “turned off” — and to do that they have to recruit 3.14 million + 1 Earthlings to join their brain waves via the website www. spaceheadz.com. Michael K. is their first recruit. But hot on their trail is bumbling Agent Umber of the AAA (AntiAlienAgency), a spy with all kinds of clever gadgets like his PicklePhone, a cereal box that turns into a laptop, and a taco disguise.
This is a very funny story, first in a series, well-arranged with lots of illustrations to give it a graphic novel feel. And though not necessary, you can engage the story online as well via the accompanying website:
- www. spaceheadz.com — The main site where you can join the Spaceheadz mission to save the earth, see videos, post your stories, and link to Major Fluffy’s blog.