Akiko and the Alpha Centauri 5000

Akiko and the Alpha Centauri 5000

4.7 4
by Mark Crilley
     
 

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Akiko and her crew–Spuckler Boach, Mr. Beeba, Poog, and Gax–are competing in an intergalactic race from one side of the universe to the other. Along the way they have to make it through the narrow passages of the Labyrinth of Lulla-ma-Waygo, the notorious Almost Black Hole of Luzbert-7, and the deadly Jaws of McVluddapuck. All Akiko wants to do is make it… See more details below

Overview

Akiko and her crew–Spuckler Boach, Mr. Beeba, Poog, and Gax–are competing in an intergalactic race from one side of the universe to the other. Along the way they have to make it through the narrow passages of the Labyrinth of Lulla-ma-Waygo, the notorious Almost Black Hole of Luzbert-7, and the deadly Jaws of McVluddapuck. All Akiko wants to do is make it back to Earth in one piece!
But when Spuckler discovers that his old rival Bluggamin Streed is also in the race, winning becomes the most important thing. And Akiko quickly finds herself caught up in the competition. Who will go home with the celebrated Centauri Cup?


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The titular heroine and friends vie for the coveted Centauri Cup in an intergalactic race in the latest series adventure Akiko and the Alpha Centauri 5000 by Mark Crilley. Akiko's greatest concern is their safe return to Earth, but when fellow traveler Spuckler discovers he's racing against an old rival, winning becomes his obsession. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this episode of the burgeoning Akiko corpus, we find Akiko time shifted in to a space ship race with her comical alien pals, Spuckler, Poog, Mr. Beeba and Gax. The many fans of Akiko will be engaged as ever with this rag-tag band, but more surprisingly, a newcomer can begin here also without missing anything. If there is an everyman in graphic novels for youth, it is Crilley's ten-year-old heroine Akiko. Thoroughly likable, with a feminist and multicultural undercurrent, Akiko seems to exist in an already enlightened world, where a young Japanese-American girl assumes that she can claim her place in any adventure. It is recommended that librarians purchase both the graphic novel versions and these chapter books, each is appealing to a different sort of reader and the chapter books have more room for text. Don't be surprised to see these flying off the shelves. 2003, Delacorte Press/Random House,
— Kate Pourshariati
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Japanese-American grade-schooler Akiko is scooped up by her former spacefaring buddies: the seedy space tramp Spuckler, brainy but befuddled Mr. Beeba, robot Gax, and floating-dot creature Poog. These cosmos-cruising misfits have entered a cross-galaxy race and need to program the new navigational computer that Spuckler has added to soup up his rickety spacecraft. Unfortunately, the user's manual is written in Jabblenese, a language they mistakenly believe Akiko can read. After all, she has led them through trouble before. Since there is no time to return her to Earth before the race starts, she goes along for the ride. But, when Spuckler's old enemy Bluggamin Streed enters the field, the race threatens to turn deadly and Akiko begins to wonder if she can even get her shipmates to the finish line alive. Based on the highly successful graphic-novel series (Sirius Entertainment), the story clearly shows its comic-book roots: fast-paced, episodic plot action; anime-inspired cartoon illustrations; and descriptive sound bites ("FWUUUUUUUUM!"). Familiarity with the earlier books is helpful but not essential.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307510761
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/19/2009
Series:
Akiko
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,025,009
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1


My name is Akiko. This is the story of how I went from building a snowman to flying through a black hole to nearly getting crushed by the Jaws of--

Well, I don't want to give it all away.

Let's just say for now that some really weird stuff happened to me the other day. Stuff involving my friends from the planet Smoo, a big rusty spaceship named Boach's Bullet, and several tons of something green and smelly called grull.

See what I mean? Weird stuff.

I'll start with the snowman.

It was a freezing cold January morning, a Saturday. My best friend, Melissa, and I were playing in Middleton Park, just a few blocks from the apartment building where we both live. We were chucking snowballs at each other, making sorry-looking igloos, and just generally goofing around with the six or seven inches of snow that had fallen the night before.

"Middleton is nowhere," said Melissa. "When I grow up I'm moving to a big city. Where exciting stuff happens. Every day, all the time. And I'll tell everyone I meet: Stay away from Middleton. Unless you really like being bored."

"Oh, come on," I said. "It's not that bad."

Melissa chucked a snowball and we both watched it slide across the frozen duck pond. I threw one too, but it didn't go as far.

"Trust me, Akiko. I've been to Chicago and Milwaukee and Cincinnati. Those are real cities. Your problem is you've never been away from your own hometown."

(Melissa's problem is she starts too many sentences with "Your problem is.")

"I have too," I said.

"Where have you been?"

"I've been to places you've never even heard of."

"Such as?"

If only I could tell her: Smoo! Quilk! The castle of Alia Rellapor!

"Leamington."

"Leamington?" She laughed and shook her head. "I've been to Leamington. It's even worse than Middleton." She threw another snowball. "When I get older I'm going to stay away from any place that ends with -ton."

"I like Leamington," I said. "My gramma lives there."

"You like everything," Melissa said. "That's your whole problem."

Then Melissa's mom called her from the top of a hill on the other side of the duck pond.

"Come on, 'Liss! Time to go!"

"But Mom," she said, "we're in the middle of something really important here."

Ha!

"Count of ten: one . . . two . . ."

"Mom!" Melissa pleaded. She stretched it out until it sounded like Maaaah-um.

". . . three . . . four . . ."

"Gotta go." Melissa sighed, dropped the snowball she'd been making, and trotted off around the edge of the duck pond. I stood there and watched the puffs of breath trail off behind her.

"See ya, Melissa!"

"See ya!"

A minute later there was no one in the park but me.

I was about to head back home, but then I decided to make a snowman. We don't get that much snow in Middleton, so there are only so many chances for snowman making before it's suddenly March and the so-called snow is so gray and slushy you don't want your mittens going anywhere near it.

I had finished with the second big ball of snow--the snowman's belly--and was working on the third when I began to feel warm. Seriously warm. It was like I was being heated from inside or something. I unzipped my coat and loosened my scarf a little, but it didn't really help. I took off my mittens and stuffed them in my coat pockets.

That's when it started happening.

First my hand-knit winter hat disappeared. It sort of loosened itself from my head like it was, I don't know, letting go of me. And then it just vanished. By that point I was feeling downright feverish. I reached into my coat to loosen my scarf a little more and found that it had disappeared too.

"Uh-oh."

Then my eyes went haywire. All of Middleton Park started to lose its color. The black tree trunks faded to gray and then to white, all the buildings turned white, and the sky turned white: I could hardly see anything but white, no matter what direction I turned.

There was a surge of heat from inside me, like a burst of flame right between my heart and my stomach.

DOP!

DADA-DOP!

DADA-DOP-DOP-DOP!

A popping noise shot through my skull from one ear to the other, and when I looked down . . . I couldn't see my body anymore! Everything around me got whiter and whiter until I was surrounded by a million little white-hot suns and I had to shut my eyes and throw my hands over them and . . .

FFLAAAAAAAAAM!

There was a terrific slamming sound, louder than anything I'd ever heard in my life.

FLA-FFLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAMMM!

A second sound, even louder. Then:

Total silence.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Except for a low, buzzing hum in my head.

I uncovered my eyes.

I was kneeling in the middle of a large gray square, smooth and glossy, but with scuff marks all over it like a well-used floor. Middleton Park was gone, replaced by a sea of blackness in all directions. Well, most of Middleton Park was gone, anyway. My now half-melted snowman was still right there in front of me, for some reason.

The humming slowly gave way to a loud rattling noise, like an old muffler in need of repair. There was a flicker of light, then all at once everything snapped into focus: I was in a small room cluttered with all sorts of strange machines and flashing orange lights. On one side of the room was a large glass windshield, beyond which lay a field of stars.

I was inside a spaceship.

"Wait! Look!" said a familiar voice just behind me. "That's her! She's coming through!"

"You're a lucky man, Beebs," said a second voice, just as familiar. "Let's hope her innards didn't get flipped upside down."

I spun around and found myself face to face with my Smoovian friends, Spuckler and Mr. Beeba. They were crouching just beyond the edge of the square, staring at me with wide eyes. Behind them to the left was Spuckler's rusty robot, Gax, and hovering above Gax was Poog in all his strange purple-round glory.

Mr. Beeba flinched and pointed behind me.

"Good heavens!" he cried. "She's not alone! We've picked up some sort of alien ice creature!"

"Don't worry, Beebs," said Spuckler, eyeing the unfinished snowman. "It ain't breathin'. I think the Trans-Moovulator musta killed it."

"What . . . ," I started.

"How..."

I paused.

Took a deep breath.

"Where am I?"

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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