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Aliens on Vacation

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David, otherwise known as Scrub (don't ask), isn't happy about leaving Florida and his friends to summer with his grandmother in "Middle of Nowhere," Washington. When he arrives at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he isn't surprised by its 60s meets Star Wars decor, but he is surprised by the weird-looking guests. It turns out that each room in the inn is a portal, and h David, otherwise known as Scrub (don't ask), isn't happy about leaving Florida and his friends to summer with his grandmother in "Middle of Nowhere," Washington. When he arrives at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he isn't surprised by its 60s meets Star Wars decor, but he is surprised by the weird-looking guests. It turns out that each room in the inn is a portal, and his grandma is the gate-keeper, allowing aliens to vacation on Earth. Grandma desperately needs Scrub's help with welcoming (and disguising) the tourists, shopping for cartloads of aluminum foil for dinner, and taking rambunctious alien kids camping in the nearby woods. The problem is, the town sheriff--already suspicious about Granny--is a scout leader camping in the same spot. Will Scrub blow Granny's cover, forcing the B&B to shut down forever? Full of cosmic chaos and mind-bending mayhem, Scrub's summer adventure will leave readers wanting to make a return trip.


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David, otherwise known as Scrub (don't ask), isn't happy about leaving Florida and his friends to summer with his grandmother in "Middle of Nowhere," Washington. When he arrives at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he isn't surprised by its 60s meets Star Wars decor, but he is surprised by the weird-looking guests. It turns out that each room in the inn is a portal, and h David, otherwise known as Scrub (don't ask), isn't happy about leaving Florida and his friends to summer with his grandmother in "Middle of Nowhere," Washington. When he arrives at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he isn't surprised by its 60s meets Star Wars decor, but he is surprised by the weird-looking guests. It turns out that each room in the inn is a portal, and his grandma is the gate-keeper, allowing aliens to vacation on Earth. Grandma desperately needs Scrub's help with welcoming (and disguising) the tourists, shopping for cartloads of aluminum foil for dinner, and taking rambunctious alien kids camping in the nearby woods. The problem is, the town sheriff--already suspicious about Granny--is a scout leader camping in the same spot. Will Scrub blow Granny's cover, forcing the B&B to shut down forever? Full of cosmic chaos and mind-bending mayhem, Scrub's summer adventure will leave readers wanting to make a return trip.

30 review for Aliens on Vacation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peachy

    So much fun, 4.5 with review to follow! Summer at the Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast with his estranged grandmother was not what David (aka Scrub) had in mind for his summer. There was the basketball team to practice for and his best friend to do dares with, yet he was shipped off so his parents could focus on their work. But that was nothing new for Scrub, as they did this to him most summers, sending him many places over his childhood years. When he arrives, Scrub encounters a strange towering So much fun, 4.5 with review to follow! Summer at the Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast with his estranged grandmother was not what David (aka Scrub) had in mind for his summer. There was the basketball team to practice for and his best friend to do dares with, yet he was shipped off so his parents could focus on their work. But that was nothing new for Scrub, as they did this to him most summers, sending him many places over his childhood years. When he arrives, Scrub encounters a strange towering fellow in front of his grandma’s B and B, and it is quickly apparent that things will be anything but boring this summer after all. Mr. Harnox might be the unlucky guest of the inn but proves to be a killer on the basketball court, as Scrub is fortunate to find out. As fate would have it, Amy, a bubbly lover of all things alien, happens upon Scrub around town, and they become fast friends. She knows of his grandma’s place and is eager to learn more, which could make it difficult for him to keep the secret of what’s going on within its walls. It won’t be any more difficult than staying off the radar of her father: Sheriff Tate. David’s grandmother entrusting him with secrets and responsibility offers him a new sense of confidence, and even as he tests the limits of what he has been charged to do, by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion, his ingenuity and ability take centre stage. Clete Barrett Smith is a creative and thoughtful writer. This middle-grade story offers quirky, richly drawn characters, and I had a blast narrating their different voices to my howling 7-year-old son. You can listen to an excerpt I posted for Storytime Sunday last month here. There are important lessons to be learned while the themes of family, friendship, responsibility, and acceptance fill the pages. If was fun to watch the whole thing come together at the end, although I wasn’t at all sure how that would be until it was upon us. We were also thrilled to see this was the first in the Intergalactic Bread and Breakfast Series, when stumbling upon the first chapter of the second volume, Aliens on a Rampage, in the back of the book. We were sure to add it to our library queue post haste! Visit peachybooks.ca here to find Zarnox, the alien bookmark I was inspired to crochet after meeting all the extraterrestrial travellers in Aliens on Vacation. This cutie was lucky enough to holiday in our backyard here in sunny Canada, and I can tell you, more fun has never been had this side of the Milky Way! 👽😉

  2. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    I believed in Santa Claus for much longer than everyone else my age. My mother proudly raised me to believe in fairies and (let’s be honest here) I still kind of do, particularly whenever I see small cascades in a stream (“fairy waterfalls!”) or tiny holes in tree trunks (“a fairy bedroom!”). My friends all shake their heads at the knowledge that I follow cryptozoology lore online the way that other people my age follow sports or celebrity gossip, and I hope beyond all reasonable hope, fingers c I believed in Santa Claus for much longer than everyone else my age. My mother proudly raised me to believe in fairies and (let’s be honest here) I still kind of do, particularly whenever I see small cascades in a stream (“fairy waterfalls!”) or tiny holes in tree trunks (“a fairy bedroom!”). My friends all shake their heads at the knowledge that I follow cryptozoology lore online the way that other people my age follow sports or celebrity gossip, and I hope beyond all reasonable hope, fingers crossed and eyes screwed shut, that Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster are real. But for all my unabashed belief in hidden animals and the unseen, I never gave much thought to extraterrestrials…. until I read Aliens on Vacation. Scrub can’t believe his rotten luck. The summer before seventh grade, while all of his friends are playing basketball and getting their first kisses, his parents are forcing him to spend the summer in Washington state with his wacky grandmother at her bizarre B&B. His arrival at the Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast does nothing to ease his nerves. Grandma seems nice enough (if a bit off her rocker), but the guests are so weird. Why do they greet him with clammy hands and strange voices? Why are they all eating tin foil and drinking bleach? And what’s the deal with the closets in every room that glow with an eerie light? The answer is revealed quickly: Grandma runs Earth’s only interplanetary vacation destination, and the aliens—or “tourists,” as they prefer to be called—arrive through the closet transporters daily, with everything from scaly purple skin to eyes on their stomachs. Somewhat against his will, Grandma enlists Scrub as her assistant and teaches him the ropes. He learns how to craft prosthetic faces, how to help dress an alien in a way that hides their five extra arms, what to do when there’s a planetary transportation error and you have to get a large grumpy squid to the nearby lake without any of the locals noticing… typical summer job stuff. Except the locals are noticing. Despite everything Scrub is doing to keep a low profile, he is being spied on by two people: one, a very cute (smart, nice, funny, perfect) girl who is obsessed with extraterrestrial lore and desperate to know what is going on inside the B&B; and two, the local sheriff who will stop at nothing to find out what is really going on in his town. As the summer rolls by, Scrub begins to realize that it can be harder to talk to girls—especially cute ones—than to disguise even the most foreign-looking alien, but with Grandma’s help, he’s getting better at both. However, as the sheriff begins enlisting help from other suspicious locals and more “tourists” pour through their portals every day, it can’t be long before they are discovered. And no matter what happens, this is shaping up to be the weirdest summer of Scrub’s life. I absolutely LOVED this book. It made me understand, in the most enthusiastic way possible, why people want to believe in aliens, and that can be almost entirely attributed to the gorgeously detailed and highly imaginative writing of Clete Barrett Smith. When paired with wonderful illustrations by Christian Slade of extraterrestrials peeking through portal windows at every chapter, every single “tourist” in the book has a distinct, quirky, and very funny personality. In turn, this delightful motley crew of fully developed characters provides a rich backdrop for Scrub, one of the most honestly and enjoyably depicted protagonists that I have stumbled across in a long time. The themes—bravery, acceptance, honesty, imagination—are strongly supported by the text while (crucially) remaining subtle and taking the back seat to a tremendously compelling story. Yes, Aliens on Vacation is a children’s adventure in its truest form, but it’s a morality tale at its core, and a good one at that. Intelligent, energetic, and hopeful, this book is a delight on every page that inspires the imagination to take flight. Perhaps even as far as another galaxy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Charlyn

    Scrub's plans for the summer are shanghaied when his parents choose to send him to stay with his grandmother at her inn, the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast. At first Scrub sees the inn as an anachronism straight from the 60s, a blend of Mr. Spock and the Flower Children, with his grandmother as the aging hippie who runs the place. He quickly realizes the establishment and its wild exterior and strange guests are a source of irritation for the citizens of the town and especially the sheriff. Scru Scrub's plans for the summer are shanghaied when his parents choose to send him to stay with his grandmother at her inn, the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast. At first Scrub sees the inn as an anachronism straight from the 60s, a blend of Mr. Spock and the Flower Children, with his grandmother as the aging hippie who runs the place. He quickly realizes the establishment and its wild exterior and strange guests are a source of irritation for the citizens of the town and especially the sheriff. Scrub soon realizes that the patrons, who all resemble aliens from distant planets, are aliens from distant planets vising planet Earth as their vacation destination. Each room has a portal to a different destination in the galaxy. It is his grandmother's, and eventually his, job to disguise each visitor so they can go out of the inn and appear human during their visit and to help each one cope with Earth society. This is not an easy job, especially when the sheriff and his snoopy daughter always seem to be around. Scrub's potentially boring visit turns into an exciting adventure and an off-the-wall read for kids.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eileen H

    Aliens On Vacation Wow, what a werd grandma but i'll get to her later. Have you ever gone somewhere for vacation and you look around and feel like you don't fit in at all, well you think you do but thats nothing compared Scrubs vacation. I love this book and ( manly the amazing fast paste description of the aliens ) how Im able to connect with Scrub as someone when trying to keep a secret but sometimes it herts my friends along the way. Well, I think its time to give you some hints on this book. F Aliens On Vacation Wow, what a werd grandma but i'll get to her later. Have you ever gone somewhere for vacation and you look around and feel like you don't fit in at all, well you think you do but thats nothing compared Scrubs vacation. I love this book and ( manly the amazing fast paste description of the aliens ) how Im able to connect with Scrub as someone when trying to keep a secret but sometimes it herts my friends along the way. Well, I think its time to give you some hints on this book. First thing first, Scrub real name is David and he holds the biggest,coolest,most ALIEN secret of all. It all started a long long long time ago(not really, it started when I read the first chapter) Scrub came to spend the summer at his grandma's intergalactic bed&breakfast when he fond that his grandma was suck in the 60!! Oh and she has alien visitors and Scrub has to keep the secret form the whole town, not as existing right.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Devil

    Neat Entertainer with a lovely climax. That romance between Scrub and Amy though ^_^

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    When Scrub is sent to his Grandma's house in the state of Washington, he figures his summer is going to be miserable. Instead of hanging out at the pool and playing basketball with his friends in Florida, he's stuck helping his Grandma, who he has never even met before, at her Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast. At first he thinks the odd tourists at the B&B are nutty sci-fi fans, but then he learns the truth: they're actually real aliens who have come to Earth for a vacation! So much for a boring When Scrub is sent to his Grandma's house in the state of Washington, he figures his summer is going to be miserable. Instead of hanging out at the pool and playing basketball with his friends in Florida, he's stuck helping his Grandma, who he has never even met before, at her Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast. At first he thinks the odd tourists at the B&B are nutty sci-fi fans, but then he learns the truth: they're actually real aliens who have come to Earth for a vacation! So much for a boring summer! In Aliens on Vacation, Clete Barrett Smith's imagination brings to the page some fascinating creatures from outer space, and Scrub finds himself responsible for disguising them so they blend in with the earthlings. He also holds an even bigger responsibility ~ keeping the secret of the Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast from the rest of the townspeople, especially Sheriff Tate, who seems to know there's something strange about the people who are staying at the B&B. This was a fun story with plenty of action and suspense. It's about a boy who learns to change his priorities and take on responsibility. In addition to hiding aliens, Scrub has to deal with regular kid stuff, like fitting in with the other kids in this new town and experiencing his first kiss. I read most of the book to my first grader, but he honestly lost interest. Some of the themes in the book ~ including the budding romance with Amy ~ were a bit old for him. I think it would be better for older kids ~ third grade and up. I like the way Smith ends Aliens on Vacation. Many loose ends are tied up, but there is definitely room for an entire series to grow from this book. And I think the characters of Scrub, Grandma, Sheriff Tate and Amy are all interesting enough to make me want to see where the story leads.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lexi Z

    Right now I m reading ALIENS ON VACATION By Clete Barrett Smith. It's about a boy named Scrub who as to stay at his crazy, stuck-in-the-1960s grandma's Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast for almost the whole summer. Scrub only has to be her one night before he starts to realize that this isn't your typical bed and breakfast. And he's right. It's bed n breakfast is for aliens. That's one big secret to keep don't you think? I've had to keep secrets for me, my friends, and my family before and I can s Right now I m reading ALIENS ON VACATION By Clete Barrett Smith. It's about a boy named Scrub who as to stay at his crazy, stuck-in-the-1960s grandma's Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast for almost the whole summer. Scrub only has to be her one night before he starts to realize that this isn't your typical bed and breakfast. And he's right. It's bed n breakfast is for aliens. That's one big secret to keep don't you think? I've had to keep secrets for me, my friends, and my family before and I can say that sometimes it's pretty tempting to tell, but you have to hold it in. I like the way that Smith really expresses the world through Scrubs eyes. What he's feeling, seeing, thinking. She really describes the other characters too. Bringing to life grandma and her personality. And I love how she describes the aliens. There slimed appearances and their weird looking bodies. Overall, I think I give his book three stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Bland

    This science fiction novel takes the reader on an adventure starting from the first page. The main character David, or Scrub, begrudgingly spends the summer with his grandmother in Washington state. He spends his summer helping out with the family business of running a bed and breakfast, but he wasn’t prepared for the clients he would meet along the way. While I find this novel appropriate for a 4th or 5th grade classroom, it teaches lessons that are valuable for readers of all ages. Smith chall This science fiction novel takes the reader on an adventure starting from the first page. The main character David, or Scrub, begrudgingly spends the summer with his grandmother in Washington state. He spends his summer helping out with the family business of running a bed and breakfast, but he wasn’t prepared for the clients he would meet along the way. While I find this novel appropriate for a 4th or 5th grade classroom, it teaches lessons that are valuable for readers of all ages. Smith challenges readers to consider themes of acceptance, courage, friendship, family, and forgiveness. I would use this book in my classroom as a way to teach of the various themes mentioned above. I think it would be an especially good book to read near the beginning of the year to create a strong classroom climate. The characters in this book are eccentric and wildly different, but they gain an appreciation for each other and learn the value of their differences. I would also use this novel to introduce various geography features. Students could create their own maps including David’s house in Florida, the bed and breakfast in Washington, his dad’s stay in Atlanta, etc. The book can also promote discussion of various subjects like social studies (immigration and search warrants), English (metaphors and alliteration), and science (different types of trees, DNA, and atoms). Although it is science fiction, I was intrigued by how many disciplines are woven throughout its pages. That is what made this book a WOW book for me. It is so much more than I could have expected! I couldn’t put this book down and was almost in tears as I neared the end. I felt a connection to the characters and was moved by the characters’ development. This book included family dynamics I don’t remember often. It includes parents who are busy at work and a grandma who is quite atypical in her looks and mannerisms. I loved how children who may not have a typical nuclear family, or perhaps those whose parents simply work a lot like my own, could relate to this story. When I came to the close of the book and saw “Book 2,” I was ecstatic. I had become so engrossed in the book I wasn’t even aware it was a part of a series. I have already added the sequel to my to read list. I hope both novels are 2 I will acquire for my future classroom library. While they aren’t my typical read, I think students whose interests differ from my own will be thrilled.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robin J.

    I am currently reading the book Aliens on Vaction, By: Clete Barret Smith. In this book there is boy and his name is David (but everyone calls him scrub). Scrub get's sent to his grandma's bed and breakfist for the summer becuase his parent's are to busy. Scrub is not happy about having to stay with his grandma for the summer. When he gets to his grandma's, he thinks somthing is a bit odd, and sure enough the bed and breakfist is an intergalactic bed and breakfist. So over the summer he gets a j I am currently reading the book Aliens on Vaction, By: Clete Barret Smith. In this book there is boy and his name is David (but everyone calls him scrub). Scrub get's sent to his grandma's bed and breakfist for the summer becuase his parent's are to busy. Scrub is not happy about having to stay with his grandma for the summer. When he gets to his grandma's, he thinks somthing is a bit odd, and sure enough the bed and breakfist is an intergalactic bed and breakfist. So over the summer he gets a job as a helper at the intergalact bed and breakfist, and he likes it. Scrub goes on crazy adventures, has lots of fun, and Helps some pretty weird guesstes (ALIENS). I can relate to scrub on not wanting to go to his grandma's becuase once I wanted to stay home and play with my freinds, but I had to go to grandma's becuase it was here birthday. I really liked the part in the book when scrub found out that the bed and breakfist was an intergalactic bed and breakfist becuase he was so shocked and the auther made me feel like I was in the scene with scrub. I give this book 5 stars becuase I LOVE how the author made me feel like I was there the whole time. I would recomend you read this book if you like fantasy. You have to read this book becuase it is awsome.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ms. B

    A humorous story about a most unusual summer vacation. Most twelve-year-olds don't spend their summers working fourteen hours at their grandmother's Bed and Breakfast which caters to aliens, yet that is exactly what David (nicknamed Scrub) does in this story. Floridian Scrub is spending the summer at his peace loving, granola crunching health nut Grandma's Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast located in the Pacific Northwest of Washington. Both the humans in Grandma's hometown and the aliens are unlik A humorous story about a most unusual summer vacation. Most twelve-year-olds don't spend their summers working fourteen hours at their grandmother's Bed and Breakfast which caters to aliens, yet that is exactly what David (nicknamed Scrub) does in this story. Floridian Scrub is spending the summer at his peace loving, granola crunching health nut Grandma's Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast located in the Pacific Northwest of Washington. Both the humans in Grandma's hometown and the aliens are unlike any Scrub has ever met. There's Mr. Hoarax who can play a mean game of basketball, Sheriff Tate who wants to close the place down, his daughter Amy who has an interest in all things extraterrestrial and an interest in Scrub, plus Zardolph and his younger brothers who are able to float on water and gather firewood like it's no else's business. Can David survive his summer in the Pacific Northwest? Will Grandma be able to keep her Bed and Breakfast open past the summer or is it time for her to retire? What about Sheriff Tate, will he succeed in his plans to close down the place? And what about Amy, can she be friends with David or not? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    CH13_Lisa Matthews

    Instead of enjoying summer hanging out in the Florida, David will be spending his summer at his grandmother’s space inn. David come to realizes that his grandmother‘s guest at the inn are not what they appear to be. David and his new friend Amy seems particularly determined to solve the mystery of the inn's clientele. This is a fun book, the first in a series, and younger readers will certainly enjoy the variety of aliens and their unique requests. Each chapter begins with a goofy alien illustra Instead of enjoying summer hanging out in the Florida, David will be spending his summer at his grandmother’s space inn. David come to realizes that his grandmother‘s guest at the inn are not what they appear to be. David and his new friend Amy seems particularly determined to solve the mystery of the inn's clientele. This is a fun book, the first in a series, and younger readers will certainly enjoy the variety of aliens and their unique requests. Each chapter begins with a goofy alien illustration in an Earth disguise as a tourist. Aliens on Vacation have a powerful message about tolerance and responsibility. This story moves along quickly and the readers are drawn into the plot immediately. The aliens and David’s adventures are well described and lead to an ending that is emotional, satisfying and a good choice for young science fiction fans, with special appeal to middle-school boys.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Catherine C

    So far I really like Aliens On Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith because it is science fiction and humor all in one. It is about a boy named Scrub who is going to his Grandmother's Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast for the summer. He doesn't really want to go but both his parents are going on business trips so he has no choice. At first he thinks that intergalactic means a bunch of crazy outer space decorations. The he finds out that the guests at the bed and breakfast are aliens visiting from anot So far I really like Aliens On Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith because it is science fiction and humor all in one. It is about a boy named Scrub who is going to his Grandmother's Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast for the summer. He doesn't really want to go but both his parents are going on business trips so he has no choice. At first he thinks that intergalactic means a bunch of crazy outer space decorations. The he finds out that the guests at the bed and breakfast are aliens visiting from another planet. I think that Smith does a good job describing Scrub's feelings because if I were going to a place with aliens I might be kind of wierded out too. I would recommend this book to people who like sci-fi and humor mixed together. I would rate this book 5 stars because I think the author uses good words to describe Scrub and all the other characters in the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    When Scrub is shipped off to his grandmother's bed and breakfast for the summer, he's in for a surprise... instead of typical tourists, the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast caters to vacationing aliens from all over the universe! This is a funny, science-fiction romp that'll please kids looking for laughs. If the story had been a little tighter (and the book a bit shorter), I think it would have been near perfect. There's a slight romantic subplot that, while it feels fine for the characters and it When Scrub is shipped off to his grandmother's bed and breakfast for the summer, he's in for a surprise... instead of typical tourists, the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast caters to vacationing aliens from all over the universe! This is a funny, science-fiction romp that'll please kids looking for laughs. If the story had been a little tighter (and the book a bit shorter), I think it would have been near perfect. There's a slight romantic subplot that, while it feels fine for the characters and it's not gratuitous, did elicit that "Is this a kissing book?" response from me. I think the book would have been stronger without that. Overall, a nice debut and I'll be keeping my eye on Clete Smith. http://www.abbythelibrarian.com/2011/...

  14. 5 out of 5

    K.C.

    I heard about this book on the Chuckanut radio show. First of all, this is a kids book, but I've always been a kid at heart. I loved this book and its light hearted humor. David nicknamed Scrub is a young man who is sent to spend the summer with his grandma who he hasnt been too close with. She runs the "intergalactic bed & breakfast" and yes it really is a vacation spot for aliens on a "primative" planet. The B&B is set in Washington (where else?) close to the Canadian border. As Scrub learns t I heard about this book on the Chuckanut radio show. First of all, this is a kids book, but I've always been a kid at heart. I loved this book and its light hearted humor. David nicknamed Scrub is a young man who is sent to spend the summer with his grandma who he hasnt been too close with. She runs the "intergalactic bed & breakfast" and yes it really is a vacation spot for aliens on a "primative" planet. The B&B is set in Washington (where else?) close to the Canadian border. As Scrub learns to help his Hippy, stuck in the 60's grandma at the B&B, he greets the guests & acclaimates them for their time on earth. Along the way he crosses paths several times with a suspicious town sheriff, meets a friend & learns a lot about himself. Cant wait for the sequel coming in 2012.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn W

    Recently I have started reading Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith. This book is about a little boy named Scrub and how he gets to spend his wild summer in Tampa Florida with his grandma. One reason I really like this book is because there are many twist and turns with what's happening throughout the story. It has many different ways of telling you certain details you need to know to truly understand the book.I can relate to this when last summer I got put in a situation for summer camp t Recently I have started reading Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith. This book is about a little boy named Scrub and how he gets to spend his wild summer in Tampa Florida with his grandma. One reason I really like this book is because there are many twist and turns with what's happening throughout the story. It has many different ways of telling you certain details you need to know to truly understand the book.I can relate to this when last summer I got put in a situation for summer camp that I didn't think I wanted to go to but ended up really liking it. Overall this was a great book and I encourage many people to read it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Haji

    I think this is an awesome book for school age children graeds 5-8th. It is a science fiction book with a litlle comedy. It is about a boy named David, whom they call scrub, and is sent to stay with his grandmother for the summer. Scrub, is not happy about going to stay with his grandmother, only to find out, she has a strange bed and breakfast. He finds a frind there named Amy, and they try to solve the mystery of this strange bed and breakfast. They discovered scrubs, Aliens in disguise, and t I think this is an awesome book for school age children graeds 5-8th. It is a science fiction book with a litlle comedy. It is about a boy named David, whom they call scrub, and is sent to stay with his grandmother for the summer. Scrub, is not happy about going to stay with his grandmother, only to find out, she has a strange bed and breakfast. He finds a frind there named Amy, and they try to solve the mystery of this strange bed and breakfast. They discovered scrubs, Aliens in disguise, and that is was a bed and breakfast for aliens. The book does a great job of expressing how Scrub, is thinking and feeling. It also tells what scrub sees as well.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I just have to say how much I enjoyed this gem of a book! I laughed out loud pretty much all throughout the book. While Scrub was mature beyond his years, he still spoke "sarcasm" fluently. I loved that Scrub's angst was palpable in the beginning...upset over not spending his Summer the way he wanted then again while meeting and getting to know the Grandmother he's never really known. The whole book was an incredibly fun ride! I can't wait to get a copy for my library's Summer Reading Program... I just have to say how much I enjoyed this gem of a book! I laughed out loud pretty much all throughout the book. While Scrub was mature beyond his years, he still spoke "sarcasm" fluently. I loved that Scrub's angst was palpable in the beginning...upset over not spending his Summer the way he wanted then again while meeting and getting to know the Grandmother he's never really known. The whole book was an incredibly fun ride! I can't wait to get a copy for my library's Summer Reading Program...The theme is "One World, Many Stories"...maybe I'll change it to "Many Worlds..."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gwen the Librarian

    This fun fish-out-of-water (or aliens-out-of-water) tale begins when Scrub is sent to spend the summer with his grandma in her kooky bed and breakfast. It has a space theme, and we discover early on that it's actually a hotel for visiting aliens and Scrub must spend his summer disguising the aliens so they will blend in on earth. Throw in some basketball and a budding romance and you have a summer read. I had some niggling details that bugged me, but I think the book will really appeal to kids. This fun fish-out-of-water (or aliens-out-of-water) tale begins when Scrub is sent to spend the summer with his grandma in her kooky bed and breakfast. It has a space theme, and we discover early on that it's actually a hotel for visiting aliens and Scrub must spend his summer disguising the aliens so they will blend in on earth. Throw in some basketball and a budding romance and you have a summer read. I had some niggling details that bugged me, but I think the book will really appeal to kids.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Johara Almogbel

    Er. I don't know. I didn't enjoy the book very much, I don't know why. The premise is nice, but I felt like it fell short of my expectations by quite a bit. It might've been because the only character I really liked was Mr. Harnox, everyone else was kind of cardboard. I felt like I was watching a movie in the 90s. The writing isn't bad, not really, it just didn't resonate with me. I wish the alien bit was more fleshed out, but oh well. But yeah. The cover's nice though. And, yeah. Er. I don't know. I didn't enjoy the book very much, I don't know why. The premise is nice, but I felt like it fell short of my expectations by quite a bit. It might've been because the only character I really liked was Mr. Harnox, everyone else was kind of cardboard. I felt like I was watching a movie in the 90s. The writing isn't bad, not really, it just didn't resonate with me. I wish the alien bit was more fleshed out, but oh well. But yeah. The cover's nice though. And, yeah.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    I'll be writing this up for an upcoming Sci Friday! http://www.mariaselke.com/2013/04/sci... (full review on my blog) I support independent bookstores. If you want to check out this title, check the link below to find an Indie shop near you or to order from them online! http://www.indiebound.org/book/978142... I'll be writing this up for an upcoming Sci Friday! http://www.mariaselke.com/2013/04/sci... (full review on my blog) I support independent bookstores. If you want to check out this title, check the link below to find an Indie shop near you or to order from them online! http://www.indiebound.org/book/978142...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nina Wagner

    I really enjoyed this book. 4.5 stars. A few spots could have used editing but all in all a great story with a happy ending. Perfect for a younger YA. I'd like to give five stars to the excerpt in the back - really looking forward to the 2nd one in the series now! I really enjoyed this book. 4.5 stars. A few spots could have used editing but all in all a great story with a happy ending. Perfect for a younger YA. I'd like to give five stars to the excerpt in the back - really looking forward to the 2nd one in the series now!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    good,humorous,and well-written and no vulgar or mean humor.I recommend for 7-13 year~olds.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Guinto

    This book was okay. In the book a boy goes to his grandma's hotel which has aliens. I would recommend this book to a person who's interested in aliens. This book was okay. In the book a boy goes to his grandma's hotel which has aliens. I would recommend this book to a person who's interested in aliens.

  24. 5 out of 5

    TheBookSmugglers

    Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers: http://thebooksmugglers.com/2011/08/j... REVIEW First Impressions: Ana: From beginning to end I had nothing but fun with Aliens on Vacation. It features a clever yet lonely boy as a protagonist, a fun, creative plot featuring Aliens on vacation in our planet and some really cool secondary characters that added lots of flavour to the story. I loved it. Thea: The debut novel from Clete Barrett Smith, Aliens on Vacation is exactly the type of fun, hil Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers: http://thebooksmugglers.com/2011/08/j... REVIEW First Impressions: Ana: From beginning to end I had nothing but fun with Aliens on Vacation. It features a clever yet lonely boy as a protagonist, a fun, creative plot featuring Aliens on vacation in our planet and some really cool secondary characters that added lots of flavour to the story. I loved it. Thea: The debut novel from Clete Barrett Smith, Aliens on Vacation is exactly the type of fun, hilarious book that I can see turned into a TV series or summer film. What happens when a normal boy is sent off by his workaholic parents to spend a summer with in Washington state with his kooky stranger of a grandmother at her home and place of business, aka the Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast? Adventure, chaos and hilarity ensues, of course. I loved this book to bits. On the Plot: Ana: David, AKA "Scrub", is not very happy about spending his summer vacation in the middle of nowhere with a grandmother he has never met. He had hoped to spend time with his best mate Tyler, shooting hoops and getting ready to try for the basketball team and instead he finds himself learning that Aliens not only exist but they actually come to Earth on vacation, arriving via the portals in each room of his grandmother's Intergalactic B&B. He now gets to spend his days doing errands, taking care of the guests and trying to keep under the suspicious town's sheriff's radar. Plot-wise, Aliens on Vacation is a quite simple story of a boy being entrusted with a secret and trying to help his grandmother to keep this secret and save her business when the town starts to get suspicious. As such, it is fast-paced, funny and fun especially with regards to those moments in which Scrub has to help Aliens looking more human or has to hide Aliens in plain sight. By saying that the book is fun though, I am not saying that it is without substance. Quite the contrary, Clete Barrett Smith incorporated very astutely serious themes like loneliness and acceptance and diversity in this book without making it didactic or any less fun for kids (or adults). Because of those themes and the well balanced the Science Fiction and Contemporary aspects are, I would say that this is a more character-driven book than plot-driven. Thea: Agreed. The plot of Aliens on Vacation is zippy and fun, but also hits home with some keen observations about human - err, intelligent being - nature. I'll also agree that characterization - or at least, the characterization of protagonist David (aka "Scrub") is what sets this book apart, though I believe that the book is driven by plot, not internal characterization. But more on that in a bit. From a pure storytelling perspective, Aliens on Vacation is the perfect blend of the fun, lighthearted imaginative story and deeper message. On the fun front, there are numerous awesome scenes where David has to help his grandmother with housekeeping by inspecting alien guests and making sure they pass the GRADE - that is, that they don't look too un-human. Naturally, this is a much more difficult process than it first seems - especially with aliens that have multiple appendages, purple scales, or are otherwise too exuberant at the chance to explore the primitive backwater planet that is Earth. As Ana says above, however, these fun interludes and plot devices are by no means the only thing that Aliens on Vacation has to offer - because there is some surprising depth to the story and ideas, as well. David is a lonely boy that yearns for attention from his parents, and discovers it in the kind and automatic trust that his grandmother places in him. There's an evaluation of mob behavior, and how humans are so scared of things that are different, from the youngest bullies to the oldest authority figures. Even the scifi element of the story had some thought behind it - universal traits in the evolution of physiology, anyone? On the Characters: Ana: This is where the book really came alive to me. Scrub is a great character and his narrative is relatable and engaging. At first, he is occupied with thoughts of what he is missing by spending his summer at the B&B (it doesn't even have mobile or internet connection!) but little by little as he spends time with his grandmother and her guests, he grows to appreciate not only the attention he is given but also the tasks he has to deal for his work at the B&B. It is easy to see that Scrub's parents are busy and not there for him all the time and that they hardly listen to him and ask for his help.During the summer he learns about responsibility and being trusted with a secret and he loves that. This translates into really funny moments but also incredibly difficult ones - is Scrub too young to deal with such a secret? Was his grandmother correct in trusting him? This is also part of what made the book so interesting: that the adult's actions - right or wrong - are also displayed and examined via very sympathetic lenses. Perhaps there is an explanation for Scrub's dad aloofness. Perhaps his grandmother is not perfect. Perhaps the villain is not all that villanous. Perhaps being a Fantasy geek is not all bad. Of course, in between all that, there is also the fact that Scrub is noticing girls for the very first time and Amy, the girl who suspects that something fishy happens at the B&B, is an awesome character: she is smart, funny and above all, compassionate. I loved her. Thea: Yep, I wholeheartedly agree with Ana. David and his narration truly make this novel stand out, and I loved his characterization. In the span of the summer before seventh grade, David has a lot on his mind. He's sent away from home, which means that he is immediately at a disadvantage for making the varsity basketball team since he won't be able to impress his coach. He doesn't know anyone in Washington, not even his own grandmother, and it looks like she's one of the scifi/fantasy geek types (those guys are weird, according to David). But, what turns out to be a bogus summer becomes one of the most dangerous and exciting of David's young life - not only does he become a trusted member of the family (a marked departure from his treatment at home in Florida), but he also grows up and becomes David - not just a kid with the unflattering nickname, Scrub. I loved that David reads as a very real young man, capable of making tough decisions when it comes down to it, but still an endearing and trouble-prone kid. Beyond David, the other characters were fantastic as well, from his kindhearted grandmother to the spunky, super smart girl next door. The only thing I wish we could have seen more of was the alien perspective! One character is stranded at the Intergalactic B&B and has been for a very long time - one Mr. Harnox, who is incredibly keen on tinfoil and bleach. Being stuck on Earth for such a long time, forced to masquerade as a human and with David's grandmother as his only friend, I wanted to know much more of Mr. Harnox's story - but perhaps that is to be explored in the next book. Final Thoughts, Observations & Rating: Ana: I expected Aliens on Vacation to be fun but I am surprised at how much I really loved it. I think this is a great book for kids and heck, for adults too. Thea: Agreed! Aliens on Vacation took me completely by surprise, and I loved every second of it. I cannot wait for the sequel, and, if all goes smoothly, the upcoming film adaptation. Rating: Ana: 7 - Very Good Thea: 7 - Very Good

  25. 4 out of 5

    The Rusty Key

    Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Becca Worthington Recommended for: Ages 8-12 / Grades 3-7 One Word Summary: Intergalac-tastic. I believed in Santa Claus for much longer than everyone else my age. My mother proudly raised me to believe in fairies and (let’s be honest here) I still kind of do, particularly whenever I see small cascades in a stream (“fairy waterfalls!”) or tiny holes in tree trunks (“a fairy bedroom!”). My friends all shake their heads at the knowledge that I follow cryptozoology lore o Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Becca Worthington Recommended for: Ages 8-12 / Grades 3-7 One Word Summary: Intergalac-tastic. I believed in Santa Claus for much longer than everyone else my age. My mother proudly raised me to believe in fairies and (let’s be honest here) I still kind of do, particularly whenever I see small cascades in a stream (“fairy waterfalls!”) or tiny holes in tree trunks (“a fairy bedroom!”). My friends all shake their heads at the knowledge that I follow cryptozoology lore online the way that other people my age follow sports or celebrity gossip, and I hope beyond all reasonable hope, fingers crossed and eyes screwed shut, that Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster are real. But for all my unabashed belief in hidden animals and the unseen, I never gave much thought to extraterrestrials…. until I read Aliens on Vacation. Scrub can’t believe his rotten luck. The summer before seventh grade, while all of his friends are playing basketball and getting their first kisses, his parents are forcing him to spend the summer in Washington state with his wacky grandmother at her bizarre B&B. His arrival at the Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast does nothing to ease his nerves. Grandma seems nice enough (if a bit off her rocker), but the guests are so weird. Why do they greet him with clammy hands and strange voices? Why are they all eating tin foil and drinking bleach? And what’s the deal with the closets in every room that glow with an eerie light? The answer is revealed quickly: Grandma runs Earth’s only interplanetary vacation destination, and the aliens—or “tourists,” as they prefer to be called—arrive through the closet transporters daily, with everything from scaly purple skin to eyes on their stomachs. Somewhat against his will, Grandma enlists Scrub as her assistant and teaches him the ropes. He learns how to craft prosthetic faces, how to help dress an alien in a way that hides their five extra arms, what to do when there’s a planetary transportation error and you have to get a large grumpy squid to the nearby lake without any of the locals noticing… typical summer job stuff. Except the locals are noticing. Despite everything Scrub is doing to keep a low profile, he is being spied on by two people: one, a very cute (smart, nice, funny, perfect) girl who is obsessed with extraterrestrial lore and desperate to know what is going on inside the B&B; and two, the local sheriff who will stop at nothing to find out what is really going on in his town. As the summer rolls by, Scrub begins to realize that it can be harder to talk to girls—especially cute ones—than to disguise even the most foreign-looking alien, but with Grandma’s help, he’s getting better at both. However, as the sheriff begins enlisting help from other suspicious locals and more “tourists” pour through their portals every day, it can’t be long before they are discovered. And no matter what happens, this is shaping up to be the weirdest summer of Scrub’s life. I absolutely LOVED this book. It made me understand, in the most enthusiastic way possible, why people want to believe in aliens, and that can be almost entirely attributed to the gorgeously detailed and highly imaginative writing of Clete Barrett Smith. When paired with wonderful illustrations by Christian Slade of extraterrestrials peeking through portal windows at every chapter, every single “tourist” in the book has a distinct, quirky, and very funny personality. In turn, this delightful motley crew of fully developed characters provides a rich backdrop for Scrub, one of the most honestly and enjoyably depicted protagonists that I have stumbled across in a long time. The themes—bravery, acceptance, honesty, imagination—are strongly supported by the text while (crucially) remaining subtle and taking the back seat to a tremendously compelling story. Yes, Aliens on Vacation is a children’s adventure in its truest form, but it’s a morality tale at its core, and a good one at that. Intelligent, energetic, and hopeful, this book is a delight on every page that inspires the imagination to take flight. Perhaps even as far as another galaxy. For more reviews from The Rusty Key, visit us at www.therustykey.com

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mauie (The Traveling Reader)

    This review first appeared on my review page for BookTrib: http://mauiehernando.booktrib.com/reviews/aliens-on-vacation/ Scrub was hoping for a summer of intense basketball practices in time for him to take a spot in their school’s starting line-up when September rolls around. But his busy parents had other things in mind. Instead of having him laze around in the house or play hoops, he was sent to his grandma’s place in Forest Grove, Washington. Upon arriving at the Intergalactic Bed & Break This review first appeared on my review page for BookTrib: http://mauiehernando.booktrib.com/reviews/aliens-on-vacation/ Scrub was hoping for a summer of intense basketball practices in time for him to take a spot in their school’s starting line-up when September rolls around. But his busy parents had other things in mind. Instead of having him laze around in the house or play hoops, he was sent to his grandma’s place in Forest Grove, Washington. Upon arriving at the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he did not only meet a peace-loving grandmother who must have come straight from the 60’s but also a host of rather unusual characters that are staying on as the B and B’s guests. Naturally, Scrub’s curiosity was piqued when Mr. Harnox, an impossibly tall and skinny gentleman with a grayish tinge, ate an aluminum foil without blinking (it was the aluminum foil eating, not the non-blinking that tipped him). So his grandma had to come clean with exactly what kind of business she’s running. Grandma Sunshine (or Venus Mae if you’d rather) has been a long time operator of transporters – portals used by non-Earthlike creatures when crossing galaxies. But this year, Scrub’s grandma is not only burdened with the usual requests and oddities from vacationers. The small town is becoming curious as to what is really going on inside the inn. If they find out, it could mean the end for Scrub’s grandma’s golden career as a hotelier for vacationing aliens. But not while Scrub has a say in it. With aplomb, ingenuity and sheer bravery, Scrub proved his merit, met new friends, broadened his horizons so to speak, and even kissed an amazing girl before summer’s end (eat that, Tyler Sandusky!) I was sure I would like Clete Barrett Smith’s Aliens on Vacation . First off, the cover is simply adorable. The art is inviting, kid-friendly, and best of all, it doesn’t alienate anyone. Second, it’s a children’s book so a guaranteed fun for me. Scrub was having a difficulty at first in coming to terms with his being sent to a rural town when he could have improved his shooting techniques. His resentment at his parents for the last-minute arrangement was quite understandable. If I were in his place, I would feel the same. What I had a problem though was Scrub’s inability to do a task as responsibly as possible in the first part of the book. His grandma made him in-charge of some things so I cringed whenever Scrub bungled them. Plus, it seemed a tad weird how Scrub’s grandma didn’t explain to him about the aliens right off the bat. They both could have avoided a lot of frustrations and embarrassment. But I guess it was all part of the plot. Because in time, Scrub did shine (haha…pun intended). It was marvelous to see his transformation from a resentful teenager to a much more responsible and conscientious kid. I am not usually a fan of books featuring aliens but this one I like really well. It was fun to see the aliens exploring earth and causing mischief whenever they can. Aliens on Vacation is a well-rounded book which featured characters that are real and situations that exploited and tested their abilities. It’s a wonderful and fast-enough read I would recommend to kids, young adults and also to parents who might like to read about how children who are given the right amounts of love and discipline could mature when exposed to the right circumstances.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    "Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast" is the name of the series, as well as the place young David "Scrub" Elliot finds himself visiting over the summer between sixth and seventh grade. It isn't that Scrub is into science fiction, so much. His main interest is basketball. He would rather be back in Florida, trading insane dares with his best friend and training for the all-star team. Instead, when his parents take off on separate business trips, he gets packed off to his grandma's crazy, retro-futurist "Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast" is the name of the series, as well as the place young David "Scrub" Elliot finds himself visiting over the summer between sixth and seventh grade. It isn't that Scrub is into science fiction, so much. His main interest is basketball. He would rather be back in Florida, trading insane dares with his best friend and training for the all-star team. Instead, when his parents take off on separate business trips, he gets packed off to his grandma's crazy, retro-futuristic themed hotel in the woods of Washington. Equal parts throw-back to the hippie era and throw-up of sci-fi film cliches, the B&B seems to promise the lamest summer vacation ever. But that's before Scrub finds out that his grandma's clients are really visitors from other planets. Grandma prefers not to call them aliens. Her term for them is tourists. For forty years, she has catered to honeymooners, hikers, and holiday-makers from across the Interplanetary Collective. The space-ships on her lawn are just for show. These tourists arrive via a system of intergalactic transporters, cleverly disguised as closets. Why do they choose Earth, of all places, as their vacation destination? Because it's a quiet, out-of-the-way spot where they aren't likely to meet other people they know. The only trouble with visiting such a primitive planet is that they have to keep their identity as space visitors secret from the natives, i.e. us. That's where Scrub comes in. His grandma puts him right to work, touching up the human disguises of the arriving tourists, and helping them orient themselves in this strange world. At first, Scrub thinks being put to work in the B&B will be a drag on his plans for a fun summer of shooting hoops and goofing off with the local kids. But then he realizes that he's quite good at the job, and he enjoys it too. In fact, the local kids are more of a problem—they and Sheriff Tate, who is just looking for a reason to shut down Grandma's business. It is fun to go along with Scrub as he tries to keep the aliens secret in full view of a small town, in spite of snarky teenagers, nosy neighbors, and one particularly cute girl with a freckled nose and a passion for UFO stories. Covering up extraterrestrial slips seems to get harder and harder as Scrub dances around the truth with Amy, has an intergalactic basketball shootout with the neighbor boys, and tries to keep a group of rambunctious alien boys separate from a boy scout troop during a camping trip in the woods. Through his own mistakes, he triggers an interplanetary incident that may ruin his grandma's business. Then it is up to Scrub, a boy of remarkable resourcefulness at times, to save the day. Here is a deliciously loopy, funny story that will appeal especially to readers in the middle-school and junior-high range of ages. Scrub's voice is bright, down-to-earth, and engagingly honest even when he doesn't always say what is on his mind. His charm as a lead character, the colorful adventures he goes through, the whimsical people he runs into, and the underlying message of respect for people who are different from yourself, promise to make this a delightful series. There are two sequels so far: Alien on a Rampage and Aliens in Disguise. Clete Smith is also the author of Magic Delivery.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Niyanth

    Aliens On Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith Scrub was just a normal boy who's parents sent him to his grandma's house for the whole Summer. He was soon going to find out about his grandmas big secret. His grandma didn't want the rest of the town to know. How will Scrub keep this big secret? Scrub gets sent to his Grandma's hotel in a small town for the rest of his Summer. While he is there, his grandma tells him that her hotel never gets human visitors, but it is a hotel for aliens on vacation. S Aliens On Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith Scrub was just a normal boy who's parents sent him to his grandma's house for the whole Summer. He was soon going to find out about his grandmas big secret. His grandma didn't want the rest of the town to know. How will Scrub keep this big secret? Scrub gets sent to his Grandma's hotel in a small town for the rest of his Summer. While he is there, his grandma tells him that her hotel never gets human visitors, but it is a hotel for aliens on vacation. Since Scrub knows that his grandmas hotel guests are aliens, Scrubs grandma gives him chores such as taking care of the aliens. While he is there, Scrub meets a girl named Amy who's dad is Sheriff Tate. Scrub tries to not let her find out about his grandma's secret and not let her Dad who is suspicious about the hotel, find out about his grandma's secret. The theme of this book is never give up because Scrub never gave up trying to keep his grandma’s secret. This book falls in the science fiction genre because science fiction is when a book includes talking about life on other planets and in this book they talked about how aliens came to Earth from other planets for vacation, so this book would be science fiction because there were other planets with life in this book. An example of character vs. character was when Sheriff Tate and Scrub got angry at each other and Sheriff Tate lead a raid on the hotel. Scrub embarrassed Sheriff Tate by making everyone believe that Scrub was the alien Sheriff Tate saw and that Sheriff Tate did not see any real aliens. This is character vs. character because Scrub did not like that Sheriff Tate was trying to raid the hotel and he was trying to stop the raid physically by trying to embarrass him and it was one character trying to fight another character. An example of character vs. self would be when Scrub was trying to pick between Amy or keeping his grandma's secret. This is character vrs. self because he was trying to pick in his mind how to keep the secret and have Amy as still his friend. The definition of character vrs. self is when a character has a problem in his mind and he tries to deal with it. Scrub tried to pick in his mind and he was having a hard time with it, so this example would be character vs. self. I liked this book because it had lots of suspense, and I love suspense because it make you want to read the book and not put it down. This book also had action which makes books suspenseful and interesting. A person who might like this book would be a 9-14 year old because it has drama and lots of action, and I think that type of age group would love books with drama and lots of action. A type of person who would like this would be someone who likes aliens because there is aliens in this book. A boy would like this book because boys usually like action.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Steven R. McEvoy

    This debut novel from Clete Barrett Smith was an awesome read. It was comical, entertaining, action-packed and overall just a good, fun read. It is the first book in a new series. It is the story of the Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast, a nice little operation on the edge of the town of Forest Grove, Washington. It is at the end of a cul-de-sac right on the edge of wilderness. And for the two months of summer vacation, it will be the home of David 'Scrub' Elliott of Tampa Florida. And it is the l This debut novel from Clete Barrett Smith was an awesome read. It was comical, entertaining, action-packed and overall just a good, fun read. It is the first book in a new series. It is the story of the Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast, a nice little operation on the edge of the town of Forest Grove, Washington. It is at the end of a cul-de-sac right on the edge of wilderness. And for the two months of summer vacation, it will be the home of David 'Scrub' Elliott of Tampa Florida. And it is the last place David wants to be. He would prefer to be back home at basketball camp competing with his best friend. But instead, he has been dumped at his Grandma's quirky little inn. But life for David is about to get much weirder than he ever expected. He states: "Maybe it was Washington State. After all, this was over three thousand miles from home. And these people lived in the wilderness. Things were bound to be different here. And then there was Canada. We were only a few miles from the border. I didn't know much about Canadian culture, if there was such a thing. Maybe being so close, some of their customs had leaked across the international border, like osmosis." p.20. But he really has no clue just how different. For even though the Bed and Breakfast is constantly full of guests, no one arrives on foot or via the front door of the bed and breakfast. All the guests arrive through transporters in the different rooms. Soon David is meeting and interacting with Aliens he could not even fathom from a book or movie. He is working hard with and for his Gram and really enjoying the responsibility. He has also found a girl in town he really likes, but he keeps messing things up as he tries to keep his Grandma's secret. To make matters worse, the girl's dad is the sheriff and he seems to have it out for David and his grandma. The characters, both human and alien, are wonderful. The story has a great pace and is well written. The reader finds himself hoping and cheering for David as he grows through the summer at the inn. It was a great book that I can recommend to almost any reader and it will be enjoyed. But it might also be great for boys who do not read very much, for the story will draw them in and keep their attention. I, for one, am looking forward to the next tale in the series and hope it is the next of many more. Read the review on my blog Book Reviews and More. And also an author profile and interview with Clete Barrett Smith.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Delightfully absurd, whimsical, and just plain fun, Aliens on Vacation is the first book in the new "Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast" series, where the house rules include: 1. Leave nothing behind 2. Take nothing with you 3. Dress appropriately 4. Two arms, two legs, one head 5. No harming the natives Sounds simple enough, if a little strange, right? But as twelve-year-old David, better known as Scrub, finds out, these rules may seem straight forward, but are much more complicated than he ever expecte Delightfully absurd, whimsical, and just plain fun, Aliens on Vacation is the first book in the new "Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast" series, where the house rules include: 1. Leave nothing behind 2. Take nothing with you 3. Dress appropriately 4. Two arms, two legs, one head 5. No harming the natives Sounds simple enough, if a little strange, right? But as twelve-year-old David, better known as Scrub, finds out, these rules may seem straight forward, but are much more complicated than he ever expected. Scrub was hoping to spend his summer vacation shooting hoops so he'd be ready to try out for point guard next year, but instead his busy parents have packed him off for yet another summer, and this time he's off to his grandmother's inn, near the Canadian border in Washington state. The guests at the inn come to relax, getaway, and explore a new planet. Yup, the guests are aliens. And this summer Scrub's job is to make sure that the aliens abide by the house rules, by blending in enough to keep the town's, and particularly the sheriff's, suspicions at bay. Even though Aliens on Vacation is science fiction, it driven more by character than plot. Scrub has an easy-going nature, and is resourceful, and wise beyond his years, but he's also lonely, and not always confident in himself and has some growing-up to do. Then there's the supporting characters: David's grandma, a kindhearted free spirit, who may be a little too trusting; the spunky and curious Amy who may know too much; Mr. Harnox, a seven-foot, bleach guzzling alien stranded on Earth; and then of course there's Sheriff Tate, suspicious of the goings on at the inn and determined to find the truth. Add in all of the extraterrestrial guests and the plot seemingly develops naturally out of the mix. How would you deal with an irate squid-like alien squishing through your door instead of the ocean planet he was planning on visiting? Or helping an alien disguise his third eye? In case you thought Aliens on Vacation sounds like just a fun read, it's also a book about leadership, loyalty, responsibility, friendship, and acceptance. With great characters, plenty of action, and a healthy dose of humor, Aliens on Vacation is going to be an easy sell for the middle school set.

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