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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Invasion of the Blue Lights

**** Invasion of the Blue Lights by Ruth Glick. Science fiction/YA.

In case you didn't know, Ruth Glick = Rebecca York. Which is why I bought this book. I'd found out about it in a discussion with Ruth here, and searched for it and bought it as a stocking stuffer for my youngest son (relevant post here). After he read (and enjoyed) it, I stuck it in my TBR pile and forgot about it.

It's a fairly simple story--only 126 pages, which makes sense, because it's for kids. Aaron is at loose ends after his best friend moved away. He sees a couple of blue lights in the sky, and one falls into the woods. When he investigates, it turns out to be a shape-changing alien.

He tries to befriend it, but then things turn dangerous, and he's forced to befriend the neighborhood bullies, first to save them, then to stop the alien.

There's a lot going on in this short book. Friendship is explored from several angles--the friendship Aaron had with his friend who'd moved away; his friendship with the first alien, which was one-sided; and his friendship with the two bullies, which started out as mutual need, then evolved into true friendship. There's a theme of loss--his first friend moving away, and the aliens leaving.

The boys are very realistic--for example, the two bullies are different from each other, and, of course, they're not horrible kids.

The adventure part of the book is likewise well done. The problems aren't solved all that easily, and even though it's a short book, there's not just one single problem.

I think what I liked best about this (and probably what Camden did, too) is that it wasn't dumbed-down for kids. There's trickery and treachery, and a bittersweet but hopeful ending with the aliens. Too bad Scholastic only bought the one story--I can see there's room for a sequel here.

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