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A Stranger Thing Hardcover – November 12, 2013

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—In the not-too-distant future, on an Earth where alien Almiri have now revealed themselves, 16-year-old Elvie Nara has just given birth to a half-alien baby. According to everything she's been told, all mixed-race babies have a "dongle," so how could her little goober have "girl parts?" In Mothership (S & S, 2012), readers met Elvie and the baby's father, the swooningly handsome but not overly bright Cole, an Almiri. The Almiri have been on Earth for centuries, originally passing as gods and then passing as humans, advancing science and exploration for their own eventual gain. Elvie, Cole, baby Olivia, and several others are sent to Antarctica for their own protection from a militaristic alien race, the Jin'Kai. At Camp Crozier, they are taken under the wing of Titus Oates. The Jin'Kai turn up at the camp, along with Elvie's mother (who was presumed dead), and soon Elvie leaves baby Olivia behind to help retrieve important computer files from a crashed intergalactic vessel. The authors have good command of snarky teen-speak, and Elvie has plenty of colorful expression and amusing turns of phrase. The action-filled plot depends more on chase scenes than character development, though this installment will go over well with those looking for lighthearted, escapist science fiction.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX


This first sequel to the sci-fi comedy Mothership (2012) continues its wry banter as a human girl—or is she?—fights to keep her half-alien baby safe from both the good aliens and the bad ones.

After giving birth to her half-alien daughter, Elvie finds herself imprisoned on Earth instead of in a spaceship. Elvie’s baby’s daddy, the staggeringly handsome but equally stupid Cole, certainly is an alien Almiri—but Almiri can’t have daughters, can they? Whatever. The new family has wound up in Antarctica with other undesirables, at an underground facility run by fearless leader Oates. The plot thickens when rivals arrive, sending the group racing on dogsleds across the frozen continent in search of Elvie’s crashed spaceship. Although attacked by killer whales, Elvie reaches the ship, where she finds that she did not manage to kill the evil Dr. Marsden in the first book. Leicht and Neal keep the main focus of the series on comedy but weave in enough suspense to keep the pages turning. It really is funny, thanks to Elvie’s wry inner commentary, Cole’s oh-so-sincere but painfully slow mental processes and the fizzy mix of characters. Even during the final action scenes they introduce a new character, a highly developed baby that Elvie calls “Bok Choy,” as that is the child’s dominant vocabulary.

Who knew science fiction about unwed motherhood could be so very hysterical? (Science fiction. 12 & up), Kirkus

Who knew science fiction about unwed motherhood could be so very hysterical?, Kirkus

"Elvie’s snarky voice and wise-cracking humor are the perfect complement to the inventive, fast-paced action scenes, which include an attack by human hybrids, more battles with the other aliens, a coordinated pursuit by killer whales, and so much more. The non-stop suspense and the cliffhanger ending will have readers on the edge of their seats and left impatiently waiting for the final installment of Elvie's adventures. The irreverent humor and earthy language make this work of science fiction a comic treat for older teens.", VOYA

Product details

  • Lexile Measure : 880L
  • Grade Level : 9 - 12
  • Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
  • Hardcover : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1442429631
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1442429635
  • Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.25 inches
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (November 12, 2013)
  • Language: : English
  • Reading level : 14 and up
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 10 ratings