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The True Meaning of Smekday Paperback – May 5, 2009
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The book involves a cross-country trip by a 12 year old girl, her cat and a renegade alien Boov, after the invading aliens have relocated all the humans in the U.S. - first to Florida, then to Arizona. They must then go on to save the planet from the second wave of alien invaders, the Gorg. However, the main focus of the story is around how the relationship between the girl and the alien evolves. There are some great exchanges as the two travellers try to comprehend each other's cultures - as well as many pot shots at American popular culture. The drawings (including what's made to look like Polaroids from the trip) were also a big hit with my son.
We both laughed out loud throughout the book, and my son literally ripped it out of my hands on several occasions wanting to re-read a funny section to himself. We now have so many inside jokes about the Boov that my husband says he'll have to read the book too to get in on them.
Sly digs at consumerism, Disney World, Manifest Destiny, the treatment of immigrants, Native Americans, and even No Child Left Behind give this book the zing of awesome satire, and like the best children's books, it's written on at least two different levels. Improbable as the plot sounds -- young preteen joins with Artoo-shaped alien to save the planet -- it's a wild ride and one you care about. Plus, did I mention how absolutely FUNNY this book is? The book hooked me when the young heroine, Gratuity Tucci, successfully traps one of the alien Boov (later to call himself "J. Lo," and no, I'm not kidding). The Boov threatens to shoot Gratuity, but realizes he has no phaser. Capitalizing on humans' ignorance of all things Boov, the alien threatens to zing her with his "eye lasers." Capitalizing on the Boov's ignorance of all things human, Gratuity threatens to "explode his head," explaining that humans CAN do this, but usually don't, "because it's rude." Wonderful!
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.
It is not like any other book I've read. It is the weirdest story ever. The aliens in it are hilarious and made reading fun.
There were times when I wanted to scream at the main character, Gratuity for the insane things she did. I started looking for aliens everywhere!
Don't let the fact that this book is so thick scare you off. It is worth reading and you'll be sorry when it ends.
I am a third grader and I loved this book, but I think even older kids would like it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My daughter really enjoyed the movie made from this book, called 'Home' which features Jim Parsons as the Boov alien with whom protagonist Gratuity Tucci adventures. Read morePublished 4 days ago by TH
Funny, with an adorable cast and an underlying message about friendship and family.Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
Read this book aloud to my daughters over a period of time. Every night we read was a joy. If you liked the film, the book, as always is better.Published 17 days ago by coreyj
I only decided to read this book after the movie came out, and I found it really interesting. I loved how younger in cheek the heroine is. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kayla Houvenagle
I first happened across this book in Texas several years ago. I read the back and intrigued, I opened it to read the first few pages. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer