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Galaxy Games: The Challengers Hardcover – September, 2011
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Complemented by Beavers's comic book style artwork, Fishbone's narrative is ripe with kid-friendly humor--i.e., Earth's radio and TV transmissions are picked up by the toilets on the Mrendarian ship--and many of the plot twists could be straight from the 'what if' imaginings of a fourth-grade classroom. Though Fishbone clearly sets up the next book, he gives Tyler enough of a victory to leave readers satisfied. --Publishers Weekly
Galaxy Games: The Challengers was such a fun read. I had a great time taking turns between laughing and sitting on the edge of my seat. I loved it. --James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner
Tyler is in over his head. M'Frozza is in over her face tentacles. We're mere hours away from the most important event in human history, so why on Earth are the spaceship s toilets making such a horrible noise? For the love of freen! Grab your navigation beacons and prepare for the gaming arena! With a motley cast of likable yet unlikely heroes, Greg R. Fishbone s Galaxy Games is laugh-out-loud funny, an intergalactic adventure sure to tickle your cartilage encasement. --Mark Peter Hughes, author of A Crack in the Sky
About the Author
Greg R. Fishbone serves as Assistant Regional Coordinator for the three New England chapters of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. In addition to the Galaxy Games series, he is also the author of the novel, The Penguins of Doom. Greg attended law school in three countries, including Japan. He considered staying until he learned that the Japanese term for "foreign attorney working in Japan" could also mean "outhouse." This made for many awkward conversations that included the line, "I am studying hard and hope to become an outhouse someday." Practicing law by day and writing by night, Greg still sometimes thinks about moving to Tokyo to become an outhouse.
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At first TY SATO is mistaken for an asteroid, causing panic around the world. When it moves closer to earth, Tyler discovers it is really a spaceship sent on a mission. The girl alien, M'Frozza, captain of her planet Mrendaria's Galaxy Games, has come to earth to save her world from competing in the Galaxy Games.
M'Frozza believes Ty is the best kid athlete on earth and drafts him to create a team to compete in the Galaxy Games. Ty must choose the best kid athletes from around the world to help him win the contest.
The story takes place in different locations which makes it confusing at first. Once the locations and characters are established, it was easier to go in between scenes. I think the reader will navigate the scene changes with interest. Galaxy Games, The Challengers by Greg R. Fishbone is a fun read with a prevailing theme of accepting each other without boundaries. There were a few laugh out loud moments. The games were really fun, though I wish they would have come earlier in the novel, but once they came, it was hard to put the book down. The male protagonist makes this the perfect science fiction novel for boys ages 8-11. Strong female characters also appeal to girls as well.
This review appears on my blog. I received the book at no charge to facilitate the review there. No financial compensation was received.
Even as the world discovers that a star named in his honor is actually a space ship hurtling towards Earth to recruit him as a player in the Galaxy Games, Ty Sato continues to face everyday life challenges such as sharing a bathroom with his obnoxious older sister and dealing with a best friend who's not talking to him. These universal themes, along with the overall message of the benefits of a world without boundaries, kept this (usually) sci-fi phobic reader hooked.
Although the scenery changes quickly, characters are introduced with enough richness that it is easy to keep them straight, and clear chapter headings (and clever use of fonts) will help younger readers move from one setting to another with ease. There are several laugh-out-loud moments no matter where you are in the galaxy.
Xenophiles will love how Japanese culture is interwoven masterfully into this intergalactic tale. Words from different languages (Japanese, Mrendarian, and others!) are introduced in rich context so they are easily understood without the story ever feeling pedantic. As a fantastic resource, the book includes author notes on Japanese culture and language, and a fun to read glossary.
Galaxy Games is well suited for middle grade readers, but my son and I also enjoyed reading and laughing out loud together. If you are looking for a fun book that your Sci-Fi, Judo kicking, video-game loving child might enjoy, look no further. You'll be glad there is more to come in this series!
Greg Fishbone has long displayed a gift for blending likeable characters, just-this-side-of-ludicrous situations, fast-paced action, and humor that both kids and adults will enjoy. (Hey, I was grinning and sometimes laughing out loud, and there wasn't a middle schooler anywhere around.) I was reminded of both the fun adventure feel of the Lucky Starr books I enjoyed as a kid and the character-driven humor of the Discworld books, though the story itself is derivative of neither. I'm definitely looking forward to the next volume.
While I'm not a kid, I can't help but think that this would be a good choice for any kid (girl or boy) who likes sports, comic books, and/or video games. And even for those who just like wacky space books.
Most recent customer reviews
Tyler's dad spends his days studying the stars, so when Tyler"s aunt and uncle have a star named Ty Sato after him he...Read more