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My Teacher Is an Alien (My Teacher Books) Paperback – July 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-By Bruce Coville. When Susan catches the substitute teacher peeling off his face, she realizes that he's an alien.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From the Publisher

Sixth grade is just out of this world...

Susan Simmons can tell that her new substitute teacher is really weird. But she doesn't know how weird until she catches him peeling off his face -- and she realizes that "Mr. Smith" is really an alien!

At first no one will believe her -- except Peter Thompson, the class brain. When Peter and Susan discover Mr. Smith's horrible plans for their classmates, they know they have to act fast. Only they can get rid of their extra-terrestrial visitor -- and save the rest of the sixth grade class from a fate worse than math tests! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: My Teacher Books (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reissue edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416903348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416903345
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Mike London on January 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This first novel in the Coville's "My Teacher" series is, in several ways, unique from the three proceeding stories that follow it.

In one of his biggest best sellers, childrens' Bruce Coville sets out to tell a story that will capture the imagination of a typical fourth to sixth grader, while writing a story of enough substance to delight adults as well. The premise is certainly interesting enough: what would happen if one of your teachers was an alien? Worst yet, what if said alien was planning to kidnap you and four of your classmates at the end of the school term?

Coville takes that premise and runs with it. The main heroine, Susan Simmons, has just that situation on her hands. This is the story of how Susan must find a way to overcome Mr Smith, who is not quite as human as he appears. There are several memorable scenes, such as the first time Susan sees Mr. Smith unmasked, the unraveling mystery of what happened to Ms Schwartz, the teacher Mr. Smith replaced, the ongoing tension and fear the school begins to feel as the alien rumours spread, and the towering climax at the story's end.

Where Coville keeps the story so accessible is he takes everyday life at school that kids are intimately familiar with, and charges up it with a tightly structured, fast paced science fiction plot that keeps you reading. All the typical school kids are here. The school bully (Duncan Dougal). The social, geeky outcast (Peter Thompson). The goodytwoshoes kids (Stacey and Mike). The average, well rounded student (Susan Simmons).

Enough cannot be said about Broxholm, the alien. The character is well drawn, believable, and scary. You really start rooting for Susan to overcome him. In the first book, he is a menance that must be overcome.
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Mike London on April 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A truly great series. I first read it was I was probably 11 or 12 (which is the target-audience). I loved them. I have read them probably 5 or 6 times. Coville is an excellent writer; this is one of his crowning achievements in children's literature. Now I am twenty. I pulled out my old dusty copies of these works, and as soon as I finish Hunt for the Autumn Clowns I'm going to take a quick trip down memory lane with this serious (before I tackle the Potter books and R. Jordan).

This is a very well-constructed series. The first book is an absolute classic. Although the others are excellent, just like Lion, Witch, Wardrobe this will be the one everyone thinks of when they think of the series. It has classic elements of an alien trying to kidnap people to do experiments and testing on. Save in this (if I remember correctly) you don't know WHY he wants the people, or kids.

Then we go to the second, My Teacher Fried My Brains. A very lovable sequel, it is here we get into the mind of Duncan Dougal, the bully in the first book. We find "poots", a Medusa-like alien, and machine that makes you perceive music/TV in yr head and makes you a zillion times smarter (the zillion being a rough estimate, of course ;)). And it seems, perhaps, there is something more to the aliens then at first they thought. Won't give any spoilers away, so don't worry. But there is a nice little surprise at the end.

Then we get to the third volume, My Teacher Glows in the Dark. My personal favorite, it's set on the spaceship New Jersey. It introduced all sorts of nice imagery, and concepts I have used in my own writings (The URAT. Surgically installed device, so you can understand the other creatures on board.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Readaholic on November 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This was an awe inspiring series. I started it in 6th grade and saved pennies to get all the books. Mr. Coville deals with real life problems in an entertaining and enlightening manner. He's so clever at including values and life lessons that you don't realize you've learned something until after you've raced through the book. I'm now 20 yrs. old and just before I wrote this I was rereading the books. They're still great! If you have to do a book report and you don't mind getting hooked on reading for life. Start this series. You won't regret it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I come across a title such as this, I just have to take a look at the book for myself; when I find that there are three additional books forming a whole series based on the whole alien teacher concept, I have to read them all; I don't care if it's classified as "children's literature" because, to be frank, there are a lot of good "children's literature" books out there these days. With books such as this, by authors as engaging and gifted as Bruce Coville, aimed primarily at a fourth to sixth grade reading audience, it is harden to imagine that many kids just do not have any interest in reading. Heck, I'm an adult, and I loved this book. It's neither too long nor too short, puts believable characters in an extraordinary situation, mixes humor with warmth and intelligence, and - in case you missed it - features a substitute teacher who is in fact a reptilian alien in disguise. What's not to like here?
This first person story is told by Susan Simmons, your ordinary sixth grader. She has been looking forward to the final weeks of the school year because her teacher, Ms. Schwartz, is going to have the children stage a play. She is soon shocked to learn that Ms. Schwartz is not coming back; to make matters worse, the new teacher, Mr. Smith, has no interest in staging plays or teaching in his predecessor's unconventional but highly effective (i.e., fun) style. Susan doesn't like Mr. Smith at all, and like many a kid before her eventually finds herself in a bind thanks to a note she wrote in class. In her attempt to get the note back, she discovers that Mr. Smith is actually an alien and that he has come here to take five students back with him to wherever he came from. What's a girl to do? No adult would ever believe her, and most kids would think she was joking.
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