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Weird Kid

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From the author of Cog and Voyage of the Dogs, Weird Kid is a hilarious and heartfelt homage to everyone who feels like they don’t belong. Perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and Stuart Gibb. Jake Wind is trying to stay under the radar. Whose radar? Anyone who might be too interested in the fact that he has shapeshifting abilities he can’t control. Or that his parents found From the author of Cog and Voyage of the Dogs, Weird Kid is a hilarious and heartfelt homage to everyone who feels like they don’t belong. Perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and Stuart Gibb. Jake Wind is trying to stay under the radar. Whose radar? Anyone who might be too interested in the fact that he has shapeshifting abilities he can’t control. Or that his parents found him as a ball of goo when he was a baby. Keeping his powers in check is crucial, though, if he wants to live a normal life and go to middle school instead of being homeschooled (and if he wants to avoid being kidnapped and experimented on, of course). Things feel like they’re going his way when he survives his first day of school without transforming and makes a new friend. But when mysterious sinkholes start popping up around town—sinkholes filled with the same extraterrestrial substance as Jake—and his neighbors, classmates, and even his family start acting a little, well, weird, Jake will have to learn to use his powers in order to save his town. 


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From the author of Cog and Voyage of the Dogs, Weird Kid is a hilarious and heartfelt homage to everyone who feels like they don’t belong. Perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and Stuart Gibb. Jake Wind is trying to stay under the radar. Whose radar? Anyone who might be too interested in the fact that he has shapeshifting abilities he can’t control. Or that his parents found From the author of Cog and Voyage of the Dogs, Weird Kid is a hilarious and heartfelt homage to everyone who feels like they don’t belong. Perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and Stuart Gibb. Jake Wind is trying to stay under the radar. Whose radar? Anyone who might be too interested in the fact that he has shapeshifting abilities he can’t control. Or that his parents found him as a ball of goo when he was a baby. Keeping his powers in check is crucial, though, if he wants to live a normal life and go to middle school instead of being homeschooled (and if he wants to avoid being kidnapped and experimented on, of course). Things feel like they’re going his way when he survives his first day of school without transforming and makes a new friend. But when mysterious sinkholes start popping up around town—sinkholes filled with the same extraterrestrial substance as Jake—and his neighbors, classmates, and even his family start acting a little, well, weird, Jake will have to learn to use his powers in order to save his town. 

30 review for Weird Kid

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    4.5★s Weird Kid is a science-fiction novel for children by American author, Greg van Eekhout. Jake Wind has managed to convince his parents to let him attend Cedar Creek View middle school. They’d rather home-school him, because they’re worried he’ll accidentally shape-shift into something in public. Since about June, there’s been an occasional Hum making him feel ill, and his shape-shifting has been unpredictable. On his first day, he meets Agnes Oakes, who is clearly very smart (she’s a Night K 4.5★s Weird Kid is a science-fiction novel for children by American author, Greg van Eekhout. Jake Wind has managed to convince his parents to let him attend Cedar Creek View middle school. They’d rather home-school him, because they’re worried he’ll accidentally shape-shift into something in public. Since about June, there’s been an occasional Hum making him feel ill, and his shape-shifting has been unpredictable. On his first day, he meets Agnes Oakes, who is clearly very smart (she’s a Night Kite fan) and they happen to be sitting together when a sinkhole opens up in the schoolgrounds, not the first in Cedar Creek View in the last week, and she spots (and catches a sample of) some goo. Agnes plans to analyse it. When a scientist from the Collaboratory turns up wanting to question witnesses, Jake talks Agnes out of sharing what she knows more widely, telling her it will be more fun to investigate together: that goo looks uncomfortably like what he melts into when the Hum is at its worst, and being dissected for scientific research holds no appeal. It’s when Agnes calls him to the site of another sinkhole, very early one morning, and they witness what happens to the resident family, that Jake really gets worried. Not long after this, Agnes has figured out Jake’s secret: he’s an alien life form. She tries to persuade him to learn how to use his power instead of avoiding it. Soon enough, the pair discovers that the town, perhaps the country, perhaps the whole world is at risk from the goo and, in true adventure story style, it is, of course, up to them to save it. Who would have thought that saving the world involves playing guitar at the Desert Sky Pavilion? There’s plenty of humour in this tale, not the least in Jake’s very literal interpretations of language, and the errors that the Imblobsters make. Another fun aspect is how Jake and Agnes find solutions in various back issues of their favourite comics which, as avid fans, they know by heart. This one is clever and funny and carries a nice message of tolerance and acceptance. It’s aimed at 8-12 year-olds, but older readers (even those aged sixty-six) will probably enjoy it too. This unbiased review is from a voice galley provided by NetGalley and Harper Audio. The voice galley is an interesting concept in itself: it is created with a synthetic voice only, so is not a preview of the audio book. Hence the narration can be quite stilted, with strange emphasis. In this case, as the protagonist is an alien life form, it fits quite well. Without access to the print- or e-version, this also means that the spelling in the review may be incorrect.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Nice coming of age story snd feeling comfortable with yourself

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)

    Jake is trying to stay under the radar because he is not from this world, but he is tired of not being able to be a normal kid and wants to go to middle school. His human parents were worried that he might be found out, see they found him one night when they seen something fall from the sky. They thought it was a meteor but what they found was a strange pile of goo, this goo turned out to be Jake. When the man touch it the goo turned into a baby and they took him home and raised him. Jake can sh Jake is trying to stay under the radar because he is not from this world, but he is tired of not being able to be a normal kid and wants to go to middle school. His human parents were worried that he might be found out, see they found him one night when they seen something fall from the sky. They thought it was a meteor but what they found was a strange pile of goo, this goo turned out to be Jake. When the man touch it the goo turned into a baby and they took him home and raised him. Jake can shapeshift into all sorts of things and he isn’t good at controling it and sometimes it just happens. Jake meets Agnes on his first day and they fast become friends. Agnes is an interesting girl who is very much into science things and a comic book character that has no superpowers but still a hero and kind wants to be like her. So Jake and her get along pretty good. They noticed a sinkhole one day and Agnes mentions they have been popping up around town, they see some goo, Jake notices the goo looks like what he was made of and gets worried. Agnes takes sample and soon they are involved in a mystery about the goo, some not so nice scientist and when everyone around them starts acting really weird, Jake has to embrass his unique shapeshifting abilities to save them. I liked Jake and Agnes they were to very interesting characters. I especially liked Agnes because she was just a really strange but smart kid. She has some great dialogue at times! This book was fun, a bit quirky but overall enjoyable!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Serena

    Thank you to NetGalley for a eARC in exchange for a review. I listened to this as a synthetic audiobook, there were several times it skipped with a odd voice over lap, even with "rewinding", I do not know if deleting & downloading again might have helped but it seemed too much trouble to do so. I have a feeling I missed out on a few pages but I was able to follow most of the plot none the less. I have read Norse Code from this author and still recall it fondly. Jake Wind delightfully reminds me Thank you to NetGalley for a eARC in exchange for a review. I listened to this as a synthetic audiobook, there were several times it skipped with a odd voice over lap, even with "rewinding", I do not know if deleting & downloading again might have helped but it seemed too much trouble to do so. I have a feeling I missed out on a few pages but I was able to follow most of the plot none the less. I have read Norse Code from this author and still recall it fondly. Jake Wind delightfully reminds me of Beast Boy (of Teen Titans) or I Was A Sixth Grade Alien series. I was glad he had both his parents, adopted or not. I was quite intrigued by Agnes Oakes, how the two's shared love for a comic hero, Night Kite, who's adventures acts as a light to shine upon their own histories and choices. I would want to read Night Kite comics, as sometimes happens to me in series who's characters are fans of something like a comic - or tv series (most recently that happened with Geekerella and me). Ghost hunting seems like a good next step for Jake and Anges, hope we'll get to see them at it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Miya

    Wonderful silly Middle grade sci-fi adventure. Gooey blobs, shapeshifters, sink holes, butts, and friendships. Kids who love a little laughter mixed in their books will love this. It is a fast paced easy read. Voracious readers can probably get through it in a day. Hard to put down. You just want to know more about the goo and the holes...and people starting to come around asking questions. I don’t want to giveaway spoilers, so I will leave it at that. Perfect for silly kids who love butts and g Wonderful silly Middle grade sci-fi adventure. Gooey blobs, shapeshifters, sink holes, butts, and friendships. Kids who love a little laughter mixed in their books will love this. It is a fast paced easy read. Voracious readers can probably get through it in a day. Hard to put down. You just want to know more about the goo and the holes...and people starting to come around asking questions. I don’t want to giveaway spoilers, so I will leave it at that. Perfect for silly kids who love butts and goo! Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Netgalley Jake Wind is finding middle school a challenge: his dad is a proctologist who can't stop making butt jokes, and his mom "makes people feel emotional about soap"; his former friends aren't talking to him; and it's hard to pay attention in class because he is a shape shifting alien comprised of goo. It's harder and harder to maintain his human shape since there is a distracting "hum" in his town of Cedar Creek View, Arizona, and one unfortunate incident in public when hi E ARC provided by Netgalley Jake Wind is finding middle school a challenge: his dad is a proctologist who can't stop making butt jokes, and his mom "makes people feel emotional about soap"; his former friends aren't talking to him; and it's hard to pay attention in class because he is a shape shifting alien comprised of goo. It's harder and harder to maintain his human shape since there is a distracting "hum" in his town of Cedar Creek View, Arizona, and one unfortunate incident in public when his ear-to-ear grin freaked people out has made his parents very overprotective. It doesn't help that sinkholes have been appearing all over town, and seem to be filled with the same xenogel that Jake's parents found years ago. When they picked up the gel, it shape shifted into the form of a human baby, and they've cared for their little extraterrestrial ever since. His parents' support is one of the good things in his life, along with his small dog, Growler and his uncle, who is helping Jake with his guitar playing. A surprising new good thing is Agnes, who has moved to Cedar Creek View with her mother. Jake's mother wants him to befriend the new girl, and the two have a shared interest in Night Kite comics. When Jake suddenly morphs into a seal in a mall restroom, Agnes has the presence of mind to bling onlookers with the modified flash in her phone, and is quick to discern Jake's secret. Since the sinkholes have brought a team of scientists, headed by Dr. Woll, to town, Agnes doesn't question Jakes unusual background and is quick to use to scientific mind to try to help him. She does, however, blow his secret, and he is visited by "Dairy and Gravy", who claim they are Jake's "sibling bloblets" and want him to visit Dr. Woll's lab. With visions of E.T. being taken away by scientists, Jake is wary, but also knows that the situation is worsening. When the xenogel "imblobsters" his teacher, parents, and even Growler, Jake knows that he and Agnes need to find out how he is connected to the forces that are taking over the town, and save their world before everyone is imblobstered and eating caramel spaghetti burritos! Cedar View Creek is an ordinary, small town, and I loved the fact that Jake and Agnes were able to bike around to investigate the xenogel spreading underneath it. Having the Collaboratory that Dr. Woll was running be located in an abandoned shopping mall was a stroke of brilliance-- could there be anything as benignly creepy? The Southwestern setting also brought to mind Roswell, and made it easier to believe that Jake fell from the sky and his parents just took him in. Middle grade parents are tough to write, but van Eekhout strikes just the right balance: they are concerned for Jake's safety, but give him room to explore. They are also endearingly annoying and have their own interests, with which they annoy Jake, of course! Jake's struggles with maintaining his human shape echo the problems that many tweens have with their bodies changing-- I always tell students that of course they trip over things and hit themselves in the face, because their hands and feet aren't where they were yesterday! He has a supportive ally in Agnes, who just might be my favorite middle grade character of all time! She does push ups while reading books, gives Jake an animal encyclopedia so he has options for shape shifting, and is always brilliantly prepared for the situations the two face. Her no-nonsense acceptance that her friend is a space alien, and her fearless drive to help him were great to see. There are plenty of laugh out loud lines in this book, menacing but comical aliens, and plenty of adventure. These things, as well as the fast-paced plot, will make it appeal to young readers who always suspect that their best friend or sibling might, in fact, be a space alien. Teachers and librarians will like the book for it's more philosophical themes of belonging, personal identity, and friendship. This is a great choice for fans of Rodkey's We're Not From Here, O'Donnell's Space Rocks, or the old but utterly fabulous Space Race (2000) by Sylvia Waugh.

  7. 5 out of 5

    S Klotz

    I read the final pages of Weird kid listening to live music. The guitarist was phenomenal - as was the book. Greg has a particular knack for polishing up all the bits I love about science fiction and packaging it into that middle-grade goldilocks zone. Perfect humor and pacing for its target audience while maintaining the heart and mind of a story a fan of any age could enjoy. Weird Kid has the best dog, 2 friends bonding over their love of comics, a kid bonding over music with his uncle and an en I read the final pages of Weird kid listening to live music. The guitarist was phenomenal - as was the book. Greg has a particular knack for polishing up all the bits I love about science fiction and packaging it into that middle-grade goldilocks zone. Perfect humor and pacing for its target audience while maintaining the heart and mind of a story a fan of any age could enjoy. Weird Kid has the best dog, 2 friends bonding over their love of comics, a kid bonding over music with his uncle and an entire town overrun with (view spoiler)[alien goo (hide spoiler)] . The book lives up to its adjective. It gets weird. Strike that. It starts weird, but it's easy to write off some of the initial weird happenings as the overactive imagination of the main character. As things get a sciency explanation the weirdness and the stakes escalate. Greg has fun with words, smushing them together like the dictionary of Dr. Moreau. Greg writes clearly about difficult topics like the loss of a parent. Greg writes equally clearly about butts. The chorus that Greg returns to is the power of love and acceptance. I'd say this is the perfect book to get your middle schooler hooked on science fiction, but it's the fourth of Greg's I'd say that about. Together they give a pretty good survey of what drew me to science fiction and keeps me reading it 30 years later.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Layla Hersch

    First book in a LONG time that I could not possibly put down. Had so much fun wit this one, I read the whole thing over the course of a handful of hours! This would have been my entire jam as a kid. I love the "hidden identity" angle, the worrying about getting found out, the disastrous catastrophes that seem to follow Jake at every turn. Agnes was an absolute delight as a supporting character, and I love how believable her "super hero" obsession is, and how it gives credibility to her skills and First book in a LONG time that I could not possibly put down. Had so much fun wit this one, I read the whole thing over the course of a handful of hours! This would have been my entire jam as a kid. I love the "hidden identity" angle, the worrying about getting found out, the disastrous catastrophes that seem to follow Jake at every turn. Agnes was an absolute delight as a supporting character, and I love how believable her "super hero" obsession is, and how it gives credibility to her skills and strengths. All in all, just loved this book! The ending was the best of all worlds (no pun intended?) and it's nice to have something scary be confronted with love and understanding!!!! Recommend this one so so so so much!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Science fiction, humor, being your true self, family Jake was found as a glob by his parents. When his father touched him, he turned into a baby. Now he is in middle school and trying to keep his shape shifting powers a secret, but they are not easy to control. When the town is besieged with random sink holes, that are filled with a mysterious goo, people in town start acting weird. Jake knows he needs to get to the bottom of this. With the help of a science loving friend, he investigates and hel Science fiction, humor, being your true self, family Jake was found as a glob by his parents. When his father touched him, he turned into a baby. Now he is in middle school and trying to keep his shape shifting powers a secret, but they are not easy to control. When the town is besieged with random sink holes, that are filled with a mysterious goo, people in town start acting weird. Jake knows he needs to get to the bottom of this. With the help of a science loving friend, he investigates and helps the town return to normal.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura L

    Thank you NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This book was interesting, I think it would be a good introduction to science-fiction.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Morton Public Library

    Humorous | Suspenseful | Witty (Appeal terms from NoveList) - Hilary

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lance

    I just finished this book and felt as though there were parts that could have been improved. One of the major things that I found the whole book was lacking was the beginning or an origin story if you would call it that. Though in truth I guess the whole book could be seen as an origin story. I felt as though it was a little bit too much like Superman and there was a little bit too much of stranger things as well mixed with it. I feel as though the weird sidekick or the weird friend however you wan I just finished this book and felt as though there were parts that could have been improved. One of the major things that I found the whole book was lacking was the beginning or an origin story if you would call it that. Though in truth I guess the whole book could be seen as an origin story. I felt as though it was a little bit too much like Superman and there was a little bit too much of stranger things as well mixed with it. I feel as though the weird sidekick or the weird friend however you want to look at it is a really good aspect and wish they would have built more on that. Part of me wants to say that the entire book is unoriginal and lacking something, but the major part of me just enjoys the book. I cannot tell you why I enjoy it truth be told, it is just one of those books that I enjoyed and it was really helpful to get me out of a reading slump. The only suggestion I would make is perhaps make the opening a little bit longer or leeway into the current opening. The other thing that kind of tossed me for a loop was the fact that it was an audiobook and they bleeped out some of the words oh, don't get me wrong I know what audience it is marketed towards, so I understand why this could be an appealing point. I have never seen a bleep done before so it was one of those situations that caught me off guard. Overall this book is worth the read and it is worth a listen if you have an audiobook version. I felt the things that it done well we're done extremely well and I felt the things that it did add we're done poorly

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    Got Puberty? I get a kick out of middle grade books that, intentionally or not, use shapeshifting and other weird, alien, or exotic body problems as a metaphor for puberty. But at some point that has to move to the background in order to allow room for strong characters and a compelling story adventure. This book, which opens with an alien kid who is disguised as a human, but who is losing control of his ability to keep his human shape, goes right up to the edge. At some point you think, O.K. I g Got Puberty? I get a kick out of middle grade books that, intentionally or not, use shapeshifting and other weird, alien, or exotic body problems as a metaphor for puberty. But at some point that has to move to the background in order to allow room for strong characters and a compelling story adventure. This book, which opens with an alien kid who is disguised as a human, but who is losing control of his ability to keep his human shape, goes right up to the edge. At some point you think, O.K. I get it. Happily, after we drive home the uncontrolled body change problem, the tale switches into a slightly different gear, and we focus on the idea of being "weird" in a larger sense. Our hero bonds with a spunky, smart, and uniquely weird gal pal. It turns out that something funny is going on in town, and it may explain our alien hero's unintended shape shifting. The mystery/detectivating/adventure begins. We also shift from the whole body thing to a larger look at middle grade weirdness and why being weird may be the best of all worlds. The message, needless to say, is that everybody's a little weird in one way or another, and that's O.K.. Once this book calms down and starts to tell a real story involving real and appealing characters it lightens up and flies right, with plenty of action, chuckles, twists, and suspense. There are nice touches involving the power of music, and there are a few surprisingly engaging secondary characters. (Burned out musician cousin Dale is a total Dude.) We don't break much new ground here, and the twists are signaled from miles away, but the whole package is solid enough, well written, sprinkled with some dark humor and a surprising number of deadpan laughs, and generally upbeat. I wasn't sure how this was going to wrap up, but the ending actually worked. So, even for middle grade alien hijinks this is a little loosey-goosey, but it's entertaining fun with two appealing kid characters, and earnest without being preachy; who's going to complain about that? (Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    books_to_review

    👽 Weird Kid by Greg van Eekhout 👽 _____________________________________________ E.T. meets HARRIET THE SPY in this middle grade adventure about a boy trying to find his place in the world—despite the fact that he’s an alien from a distant planet. ______________________________________________ This was such a cute and adventurous story about Jake, an alien from a distant planet, trying to figure out who he is and what the world has to offer for him. It was absolutely a blast following along his jour 👽 Weird Kid by Greg van Eekhout 👽 _____________________________________________ E.T. meets HARRIET THE SPY in this middle grade adventure about a boy trying to find his place in the world—despite the fact that he’s an alien from a distant planet. ______________________________________________ This was such a cute and adventurous story about Jake, an alien from a distant planet, trying to figure out who he is and what the world has to offer for him. It was absolutely a blast following along his journey. Agnes decides to help Jake and understands him. Their friendship is absolutely amazing and so wholesome. Although this story was a middle grade read, it made me feel such happiness and comfort. It was so beautifully told in such a quick and lovely way. I really did enjoy everything about this. From the characters to the writing style. It honestly was fun living through this twelve-year-old’s life and him trying to fit in. Jake shares a lovely story without him knowing it. Although he struggled so much trying to hide the truth about him shape shifting and being an alien, there was a lesson to it and Agnes helped him find that. No matter where you think you are, no one will ever be the same. We are all unique and “weird” in our own ways and this story definitely showed that. It was so hard to put down so I finished it all in one sitting. It was also super short so I don’t want to give too much away. I would definitely recommend this if you’re into lovely middle grade stories. I would really suggest this if you just want something that will make you feel so happy and comfort. In addition, if you just want a lovely story about an alien trying to figuring out where he is in this world, then I would highly recommend this to you. I had such a fun and lovely time with this one. _____________________________________________ Rating: 4/5 ⭐️ _____________________________________________ **Huge thank you to NetGalley, Harper Audio, and Greg van Eekhout for providing me with an ARC via audio.**

  15. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Do not miss this book! Listed as Children's Fiction and Sci Fi & Fantasy. (Sci Fi / Fantasy is really not my preferred genre.) Really this book is about being comfortable with yourself as a middle schooler/teenager. from chapter 4 ... You changed then, right in frond of our eyes. Like a magic trick or a special effect or a miracle. You changed into you Jake, you changed into our baby boy. So they did the only thing they could think of, they freaked out. They also picked me up and swaddled me in d Do not miss this book! Listed as Children's Fiction and Sci Fi & Fantasy. (Sci Fi / Fantasy is really not my preferred genre.) Really this book is about being comfortable with yourself as a middle schooler/teenager. from chapter 4 ... You changed then, right in frond of our eyes. Like a magic trick or a special effect or a miracle. You changed into you Jake, you changed into our baby boy. So they did the only thing they could think of, they freaked out. They also picked me up and swaddled me in dads jacket and with love in their hearts the carried me home. This whole book was so creative and was absorbed so quickly; current is about 3.5 hours. Just loved the characters, the plot, the wording. This book just kept up surprising me with adorability, such as blob plus imposter = imblobstered and humungous fungus. Also loved the dogs name and guitars name! I listened to this book yesterday and today I still have a warm glow in my heart from this book! ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Greg Van Eekhout for approving my request. Opening is a little different and includes the following ... "What you are about to listen to is not a final product. It is sales material created with a synthesized voice for retailers and reviewers only. This does not reflect the quality of the final audio." I had no issues listening to the version reviewed. I would anxiously re-listen to the final product once it is available; even if it is nearly identical. I will be purchasing the final product for my niece and nephew (as my brother often reads them stories) and I think this one would be perfect, even though they are still very young. You are never too young to know how important love is in your life. release date currently scheduled for May 2021.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Audio for the ALC of this one. If I had to sum this strange, little book up, it would be, “Butts and blobs.” This middle-grade adventure follows a kid who’s just trying to find his place in the world, even though he’s an alien. When sinkholes start popping up in Cedar Creek View, Arizona accompanied by a strange hum, people start acting abnormal. Until now, Jake and his parents have been able to keep his true identity a secret. His ability to shapeshift means strict Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Audio for the ALC of this one. If I had to sum this strange, little book up, it would be, “Butts and blobs.” This middle-grade adventure follows a kid who’s just trying to find his place in the world, even though he’s an alien. When sinkholes start popping up in Cedar Creek View, Arizona accompanied by a strange hum, people start acting abnormal. Until now, Jake and his parents have been able to keep his true identity a secret. His ability to shapeshift means strict guidelines and rules from his parents, because no one can know. He’s weird enough without people knowing he can shift. When Agnes Oakes sees what he can do, it gets pretty difficult to hard his true nature. Agnes doesn’t want to tell on him, though, she wants to team up to get to the bottom of the weird happenings in Cedar Creek View. I have been trying to get more into middle-grade reads lately. I read a lot of YA, and can devour picture books by the ton, but I tend to neglect middle-grade, and I want to be as well-rounded as possible for that readers’ advisory game. It was a quick ride that kept me interested, and I heard an early copy that had a synthetic voice. The final product will be more polished, and even with the lack of production, I still enjoyed the story. It wasn’t overly long, and even though it was totally bonkers at times, I didn’t get lost. I wanted to know what was up with the town as much as our two main characters, and when things got weird, they got really weird, in a fun way. This one will be out in July, perfect timing for the adventure of summer reading, a perfect palate cleanser if your middle-grader has assigned books to read over the summer. Gotta have that balance.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This is a super fun sci-fi adventure that strikes a great balance between adventure, aliens, cool parents, and butt jokes. Jake Wind is an alien. A blob of goo to be exact and he having a hard time starting school this year. His friends aren’t talking to him anymore, and he is struggling to pay attention in class because he keeps changing shapes without thinking about it. He also starts to hear this low-level hum around town and that makes it even harder to stay looking like himself - he changes This is a super fun sci-fi adventure that strikes a great balance between adventure, aliens, cool parents, and butt jokes. Jake Wind is an alien. A blob of goo to be exact and he having a hard time starting school this year. His friends aren’t talking to him anymore, and he is struggling to pay attention in class because he keeps changing shapes without thinking about it. He also starts to hear this low-level hum around town and that makes it even harder to stay looking like himself - he changes into a seal in a mall bathroom! This book has a lot of strong points that I think kids will love. Jake is a great character, sure he is nervous and scared because he doesn’t understand what is happening to him, but he is also brave and works hard to save the town from invading “imblobster” aliens. Jake’s parents are another strong point for me. They have the perfect balance of being around, being super supportive, and parenting just enough to complicate Jake’s adventure without going overboard. As a parent, I love how they annoying embarrassing Jake just enough. Plus Jake’s dad is an endless source of butt jokes. Early in the story, Jake finds a new best friend Agnes. A new girl to town who has the lifelong goal of becoming a superhero like the comics she reads. She is athletic and does pushups while reading. She is smart and strong and a great role model, for girls. And an even better representation for boys who can see smart, strong, competent girls and hopefully take that into their view of what girls can be in real life. If you have a kid who wants a little sci-fi adventure. A kid who maybe looks at the neighbors and wonders if they are aliens then this is the book for you.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sirah

    Every middle school student thinks he or she is weird. Most don't transform into a literal puddle of goo in response to loud noises though. Twelve-year-old Jake is doing his best to make it through the day without accidentally shape-shifting into something that might alarm his classmates when he and his friend Agnes start to suspect that there's something unusual about the sinkholes that are appearing around town and the hum that only Jake can feel. Between Jake's unstable ability and Agnes's de Every middle school student thinks he or she is weird. Most don't transform into a literal puddle of goo in response to loud noises though. Twelve-year-old Jake is doing his best to make it through the day without accidentally shape-shifting into something that might alarm his classmates when he and his friend Agnes start to suspect that there's something unusual about the sinkholes that are appearing around town and the hum that only Jake can feel. Between Jake's unstable ability and Agnes's determination to save as many as possible, the two discover that love is still one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Peppered with Eekhout's classic humor, Weird Kid is a fun way to explore the ways we think about natural ability. Is shape-shifting really any more unfair than being born tall? Is it okay to treat someone differently because they're more or less intelligent? If you have the ability to help someone, but you are afraid to do so, is that wrong? This book didn't set out to answer those questions, but I love that I'm left thinking about them. I think it's the mark of really good writing to be able to present something that's short and easy to read without compromising deeper thinking. I may eventually forget the characters and the plot and maybe even the concept of this book, but the proctology jokes will stay with me forever. Thank you to Harper Collins and Netgalley for letting me get a sneak-peak of this audiobook. I'm looking forward to hearing it read by a real voice actor, although I admit that the simulated voice was extremely convincing during the alien impostor segments.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hamster

    DNF at 85% I got this (robotic) audio file in order to review this book. The fact that I stopped so close to the end (especially since this book is on my "made-me-cry" and "seriously-funny" shelves) may seem strange. It really is a tragedy. It started out brilliantly. GREAT voice. Clever writing, lots of humor. Original premise. The butt doctor conversations were priceless. (And I'm not one for eschatological humor.) I was thinking 5 stars for sure. The part that got me all teary was when he offic DNF at 85% I got this (robotic) audio file in order to review this book. The fact that I stopped so close to the end (especially since this book is on my "made-me-cry" and "seriously-funny" shelves) may seem strange. It really is a tragedy. It started out brilliantly. GREAT voice. Clever writing, lots of humor. Original premise. The butt doctor conversations were priceless. (And I'm not one for eschatological humor.) I was thinking 5 stars for sure. The part that got me all teary was when he officially became best friends with Agnes. (Was there a note/text? I can't remember.) Then the "middle grade" seemed to get in the way. Little by little, it grew more shallow (or I supposed it never got any deeper). By the halfway point, the plot felt as simplistic (but not as coherent) as a picture book—vapid and on-the-nose. There was no realistic motivation. It felt like a Disney channel show for seven-year-olds. -- MINOR SPOILERS BELOW -- I might have finished even with the zaniness, but at one point the MC throws a drama-queen fit and refuses to speak to Agnes because she "told his secrets" to the twins, despite her actually helping him out -- since he gets valuable info from the twins and nothing negative happens as a result of Agnes' innocent attempt to help. The MC treats her like crap until he needs her to do something, then he goes right back to ignoring her again. Later he does a 180 because he "thought about it" and realized it "wasn't her fault." WHAAA?? By the end I didn't really feel anything for any of the characters. The plot was ludicrous. Nothing made sense. There was no clear goal or antagonist. Such a major disappointment.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Weird Kid by Greg van Eekhout is a story about an alien who begins to lose his ability to look human. As the protagonist tries to keep his true identity secret, he befriends an odd human girl, and tries to investigate the other strange events happening near his home. What makes this book a great story for middle schoolers is that with all the fun the book involves, the story is also an allegory for puberty. The main character's body is changing in unexpected ways, which the main character finds m Weird Kid by Greg van Eekhout is a story about an alien who begins to lose his ability to look human. As the protagonist tries to keep his true identity secret, he befriends an odd human girl, and tries to investigate the other strange events happening near his home. What makes this book a great story for middle schoolers is that with all the fun the book involves, the story is also an allegory for puberty. The main character's body is changing in unexpected ways, which the main character finds mutually interesting and embarrassing. Middle school is an awkward time, with students figuring out who they are while watching their bodies mature in front of their eyes. This book summarizes this feelings in a light-hearted way. Some adult readers will likely feel that this metaphor is a bit too blunt or obvious, but the message will likely hit the right note for its intended audience. If you're looking for a fast middle-grade read that a student between the ages of 10-12 can relate to, this is an excellent book to pick up. Preteens will like the book for its adventure, slime, and mystery. Parents will like the message of embracing who you are. Teachers will find this book as a carefree addition to their classroom library or a great summer suggested reading assignment. I read an advanced audiobook version of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. This book will be available for purchase on July 20, 2021-- just in time for summer reading season. My thoughts are my own, and did not affect the score this book received.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing an audiobook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars This was such an enjoyable short middle grade book. I absolutely loved the theme of learning to accept yourself for who you are...even if you're an alien made of goo. The characters in this book were wonderful, Jake had great growth and Agnes was such a good friend. Jake's parents were just like any other parents, just worried about their child and wanting the best for them. The plot was Thank you to Netgalley for providing an audiobook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars This was such an enjoyable short middle grade book. I absolutely loved the theme of learning to accept yourself for who you are...even if you're an alien made of goo. The characters in this book were wonderful, Jake had great growth and Agnes was such a good friend. Jake's parents were just like any other parents, just worried about their child and wanting the best for them. The plot was so much fun. It was basically a goo alien invasion in the town where Jake crash landed 12 years ago. The goo took over people, dogs, even plants and objects. Jake and Agnes have to find out why this is happening and how to stop it. The writing style was so humorous. Jake's dad is a proctologist (a butt doctor) and there are some hilarious butt jokes (but nothing inappropriate for young readers) and I found myself laughing several times. Overall, this is a great standalone for young readers with a lot of humor and aliens!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn Spedden

    *Thank you to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review* Weird Kid is a quick fun read that Middle Grade kids will really enjoy. It’s a pairing of an Alien that has grown up on earth for twelve years and a girl who wants to be a real life super hero because of something that happened and the ‘evil’ people weren’t punished for it. The story goes through so much but nothing feels rushed or cut short because you’re invested in everything that’s happening *Thank you to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review* Weird Kid is a quick fun read that Middle Grade kids will really enjoy. It’s a pairing of an Alien that has grown up on earth for twelve years and a girl who wants to be a real life super hero because of something that happened and the ‘evil’ people weren’t punished for it. The story goes through so much but nothing feels rushed or cut short because you’re invested in everything that’s happening with the imblobsters as well as Jake and Agnes. Plus Agnes will make one bad ass superhero when she gets older. I feel like a lot of MG books have a lesson in them and this one isn’t any different. It’s about accepting yourself and that was what Jake had to do. He had to accept that he’s part of the ‘blob’ and stop being afraid of what he is. And how he has a friend that is willing to go to crazy lengths to help him. I hope there are more books about these two because while the book ended perfectly it’s also open for more things to happen with Jake and Agnes.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased opinion. Twelve-year-old Jake has a secret – he is an alien from another planet. Before this summer, that secret was easy to keep. Lately, however, he keeps shifting shapes without meaning to. Other weird things have been happening in his town, too – sinkholes, an unidentified hum, people acting weirdly. Jake has a strange feeling that all these things are somehow connected to him. When Agnes Oakes discovers Jake's secre I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased opinion. Twelve-year-old Jake has a secret – he is an alien from another planet. Before this summer, that secret was easy to keep. Lately, however, he keeps shifting shapes without meaning to. Other weird things have been happening in his town, too – sinkholes, an unidentified hum, people acting weirdly. Jake has a strange feeling that all these things are somehow connected to him. When Agnes Oakes discovers Jake's secret, she wants to team up with him to solve the mystery of what is happening in his town. The two collaborate to try to find the answers before anyone else does. This was a cute story that I think any middle grade reader would enjoy. I enjoyed the portmanteaus Jake and Agnes liked to come up with, such as imblobster. There are a few things I would have liked answers to but we didn't get. This book is humorous but also drives home a point about accepting your “weirdness”.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Scott

    Audio ARC kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I think I smiled the entire time I listened to this. It was such a heartwarming story about an alien boy trying to fit in to a not so simple world. Jake is a shape shifting alien who is just trying to make it through the school day without his hands sprouting feathers. When mysterious sinkholes start popping up all over town, he senses a connection between the blob substances and his own past. He sets out on a mission with h Audio ARC kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I think I smiled the entire time I listened to this. It was such a heartwarming story about an alien boy trying to fit in to a not so simple world. Jake is a shape shifting alien who is just trying to make it through the school day without his hands sprouting feathers. When mysterious sinkholes start popping up all over town, he senses a connection between the blob substances and his own past. He sets out on a mission with his friend Agnes to save their parents, the town, and one very grumpy dog from becoming overrun by the blob. This is a love letter to the kids who are a little bit different from everyone else. This is such a fun adventure story but it also has such heart. I truly think I smiled the entire time. It was laugh out loud funny at parts and it made me remember the value of arts programs in schools. I really enjoyed this and would recommend to anyone who enjoys middle grade stories.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Faith Hurst-Bilinski

    The Weird Kid comes by it naturally. He’s an alien, you see. He has been raised human and has always been able to blend in. Until now. Starting middle school and not being able to control himself as his body morphs into different forms...those are hard times for a kid. Feeling like he fits in less and less, he makes a new friend in Agnes, superhero in the making. The two of them begin to get suspicious of the large sinkholes and strange behavior suddenly taking over their town. So, like in all g The Weird Kid comes by it naturally. He’s an alien, you see. He has been raised human and has always been able to blend in. Until now. Starting middle school and not being able to control himself as his body morphs into different forms...those are hard times for a kid. Feeling like he fits in less and less, he makes a new friend in Agnes, superhero in the making. The two of them begin to get suspicious of the large sinkholes and strange behavior suddenly taking over their town. So, like in all good kids’ books, they investigate on their own. This was a fun little book to listen to. Quick tip for many audiobooks done in this computerized voice, speed it up a little and it sounds less robotic. I imagine that if I were reading this myself I would have made many of the voices far more sarcastic in my head, but I still managed to get the idea and chuckle a little to myself. This is one I would definitely bring to my class library.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Micaela

    There are not enough great things I can say about this book. It was a fast paced, super fun sci-fi adventure that included aliens, blobs, evil science labs, and saving your town. By the end of this book, I was cheering for Jake every step of the way. Jake's the weird kid who just started middle school and meets Agnes on the first day. They instantly become friends and make a pact to figure out what's the deal with all of the sinkholes popping up in town. Little does Agnes know, Jake is one of th There are not enough great things I can say about this book. It was a fast paced, super fun sci-fi adventure that included aliens, blobs, evil science labs, and saving your town. By the end of this book, I was cheering for Jake every step of the way. Jake's the weird kid who just started middle school and meets Agnes on the first day. They instantly become friends and make a pact to figure out what's the deal with all of the sinkholes popping up in town. Little does Agnes know, Jake is one of those weird things in town as he can shape shift into anything, but has little control over it. The book takes us along on the adventure with Jake and Agnes and Jake's discovery of himself and who he is. I can't wait to recommend this to my students. It was definitely a favorite! I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I'd also like to thank Libro.fm for the audiobook version of this which made this book that much more enjoyable!

  27. 5 out of 5

    L

    Author Greg Van Eekhout has created an alien character middle grade kids can relate to. Weird body changes, check. Unexpected noises, check. Struggling with parents, check. Oh yeah, and you also happen to be goo. When sinkholes and more goo appear, Jake and his new friend must prevent the whole town from becoming imblobsters. Jake is a completely relatable character who would really rather just hang out with his friend and dog, play his guitar, and leave the brave super-hero action to his best fr Author Greg Van Eekhout has created an alien character middle grade kids can relate to. Weird body changes, check. Unexpected noises, check. Struggling with parents, check. Oh yeah, and you also happen to be goo. When sinkholes and more goo appear, Jake and his new friend must prevent the whole town from becoming imblobsters. Jake is a completely relatable character who would really rather just hang out with his friend and dog, play his guitar, and leave the brave super-hero action to his best friend. This not being an option he challenges himself to attempt new things. Van Eekhout has created a storyline and character with appeal and a fresh feel. Thank you to Net Galley for my eARC audio copy, all opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Jake Wind is not your typical kid. He's actually an alien adopted by human parents in Arizona, but nobody else at school--or anywhere knows that. Otherwise he might become some kind of terrible government experiment. But between school, changing friendships, and his new tendency to suddenly shapshift without warning, life is becoming complicated. Especially when a mysterious government agency starts snooping around town to get to the bottom of the new goo-filled sinkholes popping up all over tow Jake Wind is not your typical kid. He's actually an alien adopted by human parents in Arizona, but nobody else at school--or anywhere knows that. Otherwise he might become some kind of terrible government experiment. But between school, changing friendships, and his new tendency to suddenly shapshift without warning, life is becoming complicated. Especially when a mysterious government agency starts snooping around town to get to the bottom of the new goo-filled sinkholes popping up all over town. The same goo that Jake is made of. A bit ridiculous at times, but mostly in a good way I think kids will enjoy. Full of voice and heart and lots of otherworldly shenanigans. It's kind of like Alex Mack meets Superman, which, honestly, you've just got to love.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Yapha

    Many middle schoolers feel like they don't belong, but Jake Wind is an actual alien. He fell to earth as a blob of goo and turned into a human baby when his parents found him. Things have been changing this summer, though, and he's having trouble holding his human shape. Plus there are these sink holes that keep showing up all over town. Jake's biggest fear is being found out and now his town is swarming with scientists. With the help of his new friend Agnes, he sets out to figure out his connec Many middle schoolers feel like they don't belong, but Jake Wind is an actual alien. He fell to earth as a blob of goo and turned into a human baby when his parents found him. Things have been changing this summer, though, and he's having trouble holding his human shape. Plus there are these sink holes that keep showing up all over town. Jake's biggest fear is being found out and now his town is swarming with scientists. With the help of his new friend Agnes, he sets out to figure out his connection to the sink holes and everything going on in town. This is a fun science fiction adventure with some fun unexpected plot twists. Highly recommended for grades 4 & up. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Jake is a shape-shifting, alien who usually takes the form of a 12-year-old boy. Weird things start happening in his town and he knows they have something to do with him. His parents are reluctant to send him to school or anywhere else in case he can't prevent himself from turning into a puddle of goo or changing into an animal. Jake just wants to be a normal kid. Luckily, he meets Agnes Oakes, a classmate who wants to help him get to the bottom of the town's odd events. This book is like Strang Jake is a shape-shifting, alien who usually takes the form of a 12-year-old boy. Weird things start happening in his town and he knows they have something to do with him. His parents are reluctant to send him to school or anywhere else in case he can't prevent himself from turning into a puddle of goo or changing into an animal. Jake just wants to be a normal kid. Luckily, he meets Agnes Oakes, a classmate who wants to help him get to the bottom of the town's odd events. This book is like Stranger Things for the middle-grade crowd. Thanks to Harper Audio and NetGalley for an advanced listening copy of this title.

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