Author: Alexander, William
Appointed Earth's ambassador to the universe, twelve-year-old Gabe Fuentes faces two sets of "alien" problems when he discovers his parents are illegal aliens and face deportation and the Earth is in the path of a destructive alien force causing multiple mass extinctions.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 168920
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 63420
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/15/14)
School Library Journal (-) (07/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/14)
The Hornbook (00/09/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2014 When Gabe and his best friend, Frankie, accidentally scorch his backyard in an ill-fated rocket experiment, his biggest problem is Frankie’s furious mother. But after the Envoy, an amorphous purple blob, appoints Gabe as Earth’s ambassador, his troubles get galactic. Using some basement appliances and a teeny black hole, the Envoy constructs a machine that sends Gabe to the Embassy, a giant playground full of other kid ambassadors, where he must diplomatically uncover clues about the ships surreptitiously entering his solar system. That would be plenty for 11-year-old Gabe, but back on Earth, his parents—undocumented immigrants from Guadalajara—have been caught, and his father is going to be deported. Gabe is a clever and capable peacekeeper, both at home and among the other alien ambassadors, and he handily navigates his intergalactic activities without resorting to violence. National Book Award–winning Alexander (Goblin Secrets, 2012) injects meaningful depth into an exciting sci-fi adventure, perceptively exploring what it means to be alien while avoiding a heavy-handed message. The ending is abrupt, but it happily signals a sequel. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2014 Gr 4–7—While reading in his room, Gabe Fuentes is visited by an Envoy, an amorphous being that resembles a sock puppet, minus the eyes. It informs the 11-year-old that he has been chosen as Earth's ambassador and must discover why there are alien aircraft in the solar system. Thus begins an action-packed adventure for the hero and his plucky companion that's full of unusual creatures and one very menacing ambassador, Omegan of the Outlast. In the midst of their various escapades, Gabe's parents are detained by immigration authorities and face deportation, along with his older sister, for residing in the U.S. illegally. Alexander compares the relationship between aliens in other worlds with the plight of illegal immigrants in ours. There is no doubt where Alexander's sympathies lie and the tone becomes didactic, which may leave readers weary. The political commentary dilutes a promising tale of adventure.—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joseph, MI - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.