Reviews for Fellowship for Alien Detection


Booklist Reviews 2013 March #2
When Haley wins a teen fellowship to research alien detection, her obliging family packs up the car for a road trip to solve an alien abduction mystery. Following the clues, but keeping her parents less than fully informed, Haley lands in grave danger and relies on a mysterious special-ops agent to bail her out. When she meets Dodger, another fellowship winner hot on the trail of the same aliens, the two 13-year-olds join forces, determined to solve the mystery and save the planet from the mysterious invaders. Alien fans won't mind a bit when Haley (from Connecticut) and Dodger (from Washington State) head for Roswell, New Mexico, but the story doesn't end there. In fact, even after the rousing conclusion, the repeated phrase further adventures leaves the door open for sequels. The main characters are both sympathetic and idiosyncratic, but adventure is the name of the game. With plenty of action and some surprising developments along the way, this will keep the pages turning. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Overachiever Haley and outcast Dodger must save humanity from extraterrestrial invasion after they inadvertently discover an intergalactic conspiracy while studying alien activity for a summer research grant. This funny science fiction adventure--with cross-country road trips reminiscent of Adam Rex's The True Meaning of Smekday--is perfect summer reading for younger teens transitioning out of middle school.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 January #1
Two middle schoolers might be Earth's only defense against an alien takeover. Haley, a slightly neurotic overachiever, wants a summer of adventure that will look good on her college applications. Dodger, a misfit who hears a phantom radio station in his head, hopes to finally find a place where he belongs. Haley and Dodger are brought together when they each receive a grant to study extraterrestrial activity. Their research could give them both what they desperately desire, but only if they can avoid being abducted. Assisted by the mysterious Alto, whose memory seems spotty at best, the two young investigators find themselves at the center of a global conspiracy. Unless the three unlikely heroes can figure out how to thwart the alien threat, Earth is scheduled to be turned into a zoo with mankind as its primary exhibit. Despite the looming takeover, Haley and Dodger face universal questions: Where did I come from? Where am I going? And are pancakes the perfect fuel for adventurers? Quirky characters and an intriguing mystery elevate this story above many other alien encounters. Overwritten inner monologues and a plot that sometimes meanders for no discernible reasons make pacing an issue. Alien surprise with a side of early-teen angst makes for a decent read. (Science fiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 June

Gr 5-8--Haley's an eighth grader in Connecticut with a theory about the mysterious disappearances she discovers on the Internet. On the opposite coast, Dodger is a confused boy who gets radio messages from the past in his head. Both kids win an "alien detection" fellowship and travel with their families to conduct field research and do deeper investigation into extraterrestrials. When it turns out that their projects point to an actual alien invasion, the two finally meet and join forces. Intriguing brief interludes describe another girl who is trapped in an endlessly repeating day, which is also part of the aliens' secret scheme. Details of the aliens' malicious mission emerge carefully and sometimes subtly, drawing readers in. Dates and times are given at the beginning of each chapter, but the year is withheld, a clever touch as it lets readers realize that the repeated day sections actually take place in the past. The pacing slows at times, especially in Haley's opening section, which takes up the first third of the novel. The abrupt shift to Dodger's story stalls momentum for a bit, but the action accelerates as he discovers he has amazing powers and finally unites with Haley. There's more to both protagonists than their alien-hunter roles. Dodger feels like an outcast from his family and Haley has ambitious career goals. However, ultimately neither one resonates as a truly memorable figure, and the supporting characters are generally two-dimensional. Still, the premise is engaging, and final revelations about the invasion are mostly satisfying and surprising.--Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR

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