Aliens on Vacation

Aliens on Vacation

4.3 57
by Clete Barrett Smith, Christian Slade

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Scrub isn’t happy about having to spend the summer with his hippie grandmother in “Middle of Nowhere,” Washington. When he arrives at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he’s not surprised by its 1960s-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

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Scrub isn’t happy about having to spend the summer with his hippie grandmother in “Middle of Nowhere,” Washington. When he arrives at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he’s not surprised by its 1960s-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. She desperately needs Scrub’s help with disguising the tourists as humans. As if that weren’t difficult enough, the town sheriff is already suspicious of Granny. One wrong move and Scrub could blow Grandma’s cover, forcing the B&B to shut down forever. And when it comes to aliens, every move seems very wrong....

Full of cosmic chaos and mind-bending mayhem, Scrub’s summer adventure will leave readers wanting to make a return trip.

House Rules for a Successful Visit

1. Leave nothing behind
2. Take nothing with you
3. Dress appropriately
4. Two arms, two legs, one head
5. No harming the natives

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Instead of enjoying summer hanging out in the Florida sunshine, Scrub has been shipped clear out to Washington state to work at his grandmother's space-themed inn. He quickly realizes that the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast is not merely a clever name. Grandma's guests are actual aliens—from outer space—looking for a relaxing holiday on our quaint backwater planet. Grandma and Scrub try to provide appropriate Earth disguises for excursions, but it's tricky for tentacled, three-eyed, or 10-foot-tall travelers to pass through unobtrusively. The local townsfolk are leery of Grandma's New Age lifestyle and her unusual guests who don't speak English well and have odd customs and mannerisms. Scrub's new friend Amy seems particularly determined to solve the mystery of the inn's clientele—and, unfortunately, her dad is the town sheriff, who would relish an excuse to close Grandma down for good. When the growing suspicion boils over into mob action, it's up to Scrub to save his grandmother's secret—and her livelihood. This deceptively lighthearted tale includes plenty of chuckles. Scrub's chaotic campout with three rowdy juvenile aliens is especially funny. Each chapter is headed by an amusing illustration of a "Tourist"—often in Earth disguise. There is also a powerful message about tolerance and responsibility. The town's mounting prejudice and fear creates an atmosphere of conflict, and the final confrontation with the terrified crowd is genuinely tense. A good choice for young science fiction fans, with special appeal to middle-school boys.—Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
Scrub is sent to live with his grandmother for the summer when his busy parents are, once again, too busy to stay home with him. He knows that his grandmother runs a bed and breakfast called The Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast and assumes that she named it that to capitalize on people's interest in Star Trek. But when Scrub starts to meet the guests, he confronts Grandma concerning their strange looks and characteristics, unique clothing styles, and unusual eating habits. Grandma admits to Scrub that her B & B is, indeed, a tourist spot for aliens wanting to experience Earth, and that lately she has been having a much more difficult time keeping their presence under the radar. Complicating this is Scrub's new friendship with Amy, the daughter of Sheriff Tate, a lawman who seems very suspicious of Grandma and her hospitality business. This is a fun book, the first in a series, and younger readers will certainly enjoy the variety of aliens and their unique requests. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews
Summer with grandma: boring, right? David, aka Scrub, is dreading it. His too-busy parents have sent him to stay with his hippie-dippy grandma in a small town in Washington. Grandma runs the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, which caters to weirdoes who pretend they're from outer space. The obvious becomes unavoidable when Scrub witnesses one guest devouring aluminum foil while guzzling bleach and Scrub's closet door turns out to be a portal for all manner of tentacled, many-eyed, rubbery-skinned creatures. Grandma enlists Scrub to outfit the vacationing guests in earthly disguises, and he discovers he likes this new feeling of being trusted. But his head and tongue go wonky when curious neighbor Amy, daughter of the town sheriff (who wants to close the inn), starts poking around. Though the momentum takes a while to rev, the hi-jinks hit full gear when Scrub takes three puckish alien youngsters on a camping trip and they cross paths with the sheriff's scouting troop. The jig is up, and Scrub feels the weight of grandma's disappointment. What can he do to set things right? With goofy alien illustrations to kick start each chapter, this tale explores the confusion of impending teen-hood and the importance of a sense of purpose, plus how cool it would be to have friendly aliens living among us. Ideal for upper-elementary readers dabbling in sci-fi. (Science fiction. 9-13)

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Product Details

Publication date:
Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 7.46(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Clete Barrett Smith ( is a high school teacher who managed to find the time to write award-winning screenplays and work toward a master's degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts before he published this, his first novel. He lives in Bellingham, Washington, with his wife and two daughters and is hard at work on another adventure about the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast.

Christian Slade ( received an M.A. in Illustration from Syracuse University and a B.F.A. in Drawing and Animation from the University of Central Florida. His many clients include publishers, toy companies, and film studios. His work has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators in New York City and Spectrum annuals.

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