By Mark Haddon
Light SF, ages about 8 to 14
Jim and Charlie put a listening device in the school teachers’ lounge to find out if the teachers are planning to ship Jim to reformatory school. What the boys hear, though, is some of the teachers speaking a strange language. Then they notice that one of the teacher’s eyes flicker with a blue light. Jim and Charlie try to find out what is going on, and end up having an out of this world adventure.
The story is middle school science fiction with humorous scenes and fun times as well as scary events. I enjoyed the children and their game pursuit of the mystery. Adults wanting a quick and light read could also enjoy the story. American children may find the British slang somewhat daunting to wade through, but by the middle of the book the pace picks up, and the story is great fun.
The book was given to me to review by the publisher, but this did not affect my review.
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