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The True Meaning of Smekday Paperback – May 5, 2009
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Thw story chronicles the adventures of s human girl nammwd Tip and her unlikely companion: J-Lo, one of the many Boov invaders of Earth. As an adult, I loved the sometimes darker humor and the descriptive writing; the character development that the movie totally lacked was great as well. As a parent I had to stop reading it to my 3 sons (aged 1, 3 and 7 because of the pg-13 language, some more violent scenes and the outing of a certain Christmas figurehead. Overall, I'd stick to the 13+ crowd for this book, though they are sure to love it.
Don’t judge anyone or anything just because they are different.
You have probably thought of what it would be like if Aliens took over our planet. What would they look like? What would they do? Could we communicate? In the book The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, all of these questions are answered in Adam Rex’s imagination of what the Aliens are like. We learn that you should judge anything or anyone just because they are different than you.
In this book, the Alien species, The Boov, land down on Earth and try to make ‘fair’ agreements with the human race. They decide to give the Americans all of Florida to live in. Gratuity Tucci, the main character, was living just an ordinary life as an 8th grader until her mom was taken by the Boov and brought to Florida. But when Gratuity was left and decided to drive there herself with her cat, she meets an new friend that could help her out a lot along the way.
As some of you may know this book was created into a movie, Home. I️ really enjoyed this book and would definitely read it again. I gave this book 5 star for its humor, great descriptions, and it’s creativity. Adam Rex did a great job to add some of everything to this book without overdoing it.
There was a lot of parts with humor in this book. Adam Rex worked in some funny parts while still making the book seem serious. This is shown on pages 87-88 where the text read, “ ‘Stupid Boov!’ I shouted, and then the scooter cop was right there.[....]‘It was French’ I said.” This part had humor because Gratuity convinced the Boov cop that she was complimenting his scooter. Another part that was funny was on page 66, “We lay there for a minute, staring at the roof./ ‘I could hum,’ said J.Lo./ ‘Shut up,’ I suggested.” This part was funny because Gratuity’s car broke down and she was really mad. Then J.Lo, Gratuity’s new friend, tried to break the awkward silence by asking if humming would help.
In addition, this book had great description of the setting and characters. This really helped me imagine what was happening. On page 54-55 Adam Rex wrote, “As it turned out , the ship that took Mom was one of the little ones. There were ships the size of Rhode Island in the sky over my city,[...] At first they just hung there like jellyfish. But then the jellyfish began taking bites out of things.” This part in the book really helped me imagine the situation they were in. It also helped me imagine what the ships in the sky looked like. A second piece of evidence to help me understand the story with lots of details was on page 3 where the text said, “It was Moving Day, and everyone was crazy. You remember. It was chaos; people running around with armfuls of heirloom china and photo albums, carrying food and water, carrying their dogs and kids because they forgot their dogs and kids could carry themselves. Crazy.” This part really set the base for the story. It showed how the people reacted to the situation without directly telling us all the little details. It told us just enough to show us what it was like.
Lastly this book is very creative. It really took a good imagination to come up with all the aspects of this story. It was very well thought out and it all fit very well together. This can be shown on page 169 when it describes the Boov’s God, “The God of Boovworld is not a person, or a ghost, or animal or such. Our God is the sea. she covers most of the planet, still creating and shaping the world.” This shows how they are creative because Adam Rex had to think of not just a God for aliens but also what their planet might be like. He had to combine all of these aspects to make something that fit well with the story. Another piece of evidence is on page 268 where the text described a robot sent from the other alien invaders the gorg, “It was some awful mixture of meat and machine, and I wasn’t at all surprised when J.Lo whispered that it was a robot sent by the gorg. It was green and purple all over, with a back end that formed a round cage.” This took a lot of creativity while it was still very descriptive. He had to create a robot sent from somewhere he had to completely make up. He described it very well to help the reader imagine what it was even though we have never experienced anything like it before.
This was a fantastic read and I would recommend it to people of all ages. Though it may be better for younger readers to enjoy, I believe that even an adult could have a fun, interesting read from this book.
Underlying this story is a wry commentary on the displacement of civilizations by other civilizations and the ridiculous impositions of the dominant culture on the resources, cultural identity and rights of the subjugated culture. In particular there are some allusions to the displacement of Native Americans by the English and the Europeans. Further there is an interesting exploration of minority groups and individuals who don't seem fit in anywhere, who are "outcasts" in their own culture. Overall, it's a funny and entertaining book to read.
The protagonist is an eighth grader who has lost her mother to an alien invasion.
The book takes the form of an essay being written by the girl to explain what Smekday really means to her... The winner will have their essay included in a time capsule to be opened 100 years in the future.
So Gratuity ("Tip") Tucci begins her story. She's funny, witty, and mature, while still having the light-heartedness and hopefulness of a, well, a middle-schooler.
She first goes into the "what happened"... then the "what next" when her teacher urges her to include more personal reflection.
Tip, her alien (Boov) compadre, "J-Lo" and her cat all set out to first save themselves and then to save the world.
It's light, fun, quick, and cute. It's original, thoughtful, and funny. Well-populated by a wide variety of characters with their own personalities, this book is a gem that I'm glad I've discovered!
Definitely recommend for elementary (high level) and middle school readers looking for something new...
FOUR of five stars.
Top international reviews
It was very imaginative and had twists and turns everywhere!! 😊
I can't rate it high enough for kids and adults alike. Just plain fun.