Dancing with an Alien

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BRANKO:

I am here.
On this very green Earth. The sun shines for...

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Overview

BRANKO:

I am here.
On this very green Earth. The sun shines for fourteen hours and thirty-three minutes today.
The sky is blue like they said it would be.
I am here on a mission. I have only a short time to do what I was sent here to do.
I am here to find a female.

TONIA:

I went down to the beach today.
There was one boy I'd never seen before.
Quite tall. Gold complexion. Foreign-looking.
He watched me swim.
He was with an older man. I think it was the one whose daughter disappeared a few years ago.

They would give the world for love.

Branko is here on Earth for only a short time. He has come on a grave mission: He must find a female. He must bring her home. What will happen to her on his planet isn't quite clear. What is clear is that without her, the planet could die.

Tonia loves summer. But something is different about thsi summer. Her best friend is changing. Her family is fighting. And then she meets someone unlike anyone she's ever met before. This summer could change everything.

When their worlds collide, it's like nothing Branko or Tonia could ever have imagined.

Mary Logue spins a chilling tale of deeply felt passion that takes root in the shadow of a desperate mission. The result is a love story unlike any other.

Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL), 2001 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers (ALA), and 2001 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)


About the Author
Mary Logue is an acclaimed poet and mystery writer. She spends half of the year living in Arizona and the other half in Wisconsin. All year, she lives with her two dogs and writerPete Hautman, who is not an alien, as far as she knows. Dancing With an Alien is her first book for HarperCollins.

A teenage boy from outer space travels to earth on a mission to help save his planet, and ultimately he falls in love, causing his mission to fail.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Tonia is seventeen and at a statuesque six feet, she is certain that she will never meet a boy tall enough for her. But she loves summer and swimming and when she meets a new and very tall boy at the lake, she begins to hope. Unbeknownst to Tonia, though, her knight in shining armor turns out to be an alien from outer space. Alien Branko, our alien in question, has come to Earth for a special quest - he is to find a female and convince her to come back with him to his home planet. Staying with a host family who has already sent their daughter to Branko's planet, this alien young man provides a funny and intriguing look at our world and human relationships. Logue's crisp and captivating narrative alternates between Branko and Tonia and how their feelings grow and become powerful. Dancing With An Alien is not exceptional science fiction but it is lovely and lyrical romance. Our teen protagonists come alive when they are with each other and their fate propels readers quickly to an unexpected ending. This is perfect for those who normally shy away from science fiction. Genre: Science Fiction/Romance. 2000, Harper Collins Publishers, 134 pp., $14.95. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Jane Halsall; McHenry, Illinois
Children's Literature
Call this romance with a hint of sci-fi. Branko, here for a short visit, is on a mission to score. No, he is not your usual seventeen-year-old male with raging hormones looking for just any girl. Branko has come to earth to find a suitable female to mate with him and return to his dying planet, now devoid of females. Humans are the only other beings in the universe who could possibly restore his race through interspecies breeding. Tonia, finding her personal world a little topsy-turvy, finds comfort in the time she spends with the foreigner from Romania. Will true love develop? Will Branko confess his true motives? Can Tonia abandon her life for one with him? Will they live happily ever after? Recommended for mature eighth graders and above; Blood and Chocolate fans should like this one. 2000, HarperCollins, $14.95 and $14.89. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Mary Sue Preissner
KLIATT
To quote KLIATT's May 2000 review of the hardcover edition: What happens when guys and girls don't just act like they're from different planets—they actually are from different planets? Branko has come to Earth (posing as a Romanian!) in order to bring back a fertile female to help repopulate his planet, where a plague has killed off all the women. He meets 17-year-old Tonia, who saves his life when he nearly drowns, and they fall in love. He convinces her to go back with him, but at the end realizes that he loves her too much to inflict a life of endless childbearing on her. This SF romance, told from the alternating viewpoints of Branko and Tonia, will appeal more to romance fans than to SF fans, as the emphasis is on the relationship of the two main characters. Logue conveys the overwhelming feelings of first love nicely. The novel's intriguing plot, short sentences and brevity make it a good choice for reluctant readers. Sex is mentioned, though there is nothing explicit here. Wondering whether Tonia will go off with Branko will keep readers turning the pages. An ALA Best Book for YAs and Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, as well as a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. Category: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, HarperTempest, 136p., $6.95. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; KLIATT SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
VOYA
'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. These words from Alfred, Lord Tennyson sum up the situation that Branko and Tonia face in this poignant supernatural romance. Branko is sent to Earth to bring back to his world a woman to help replenish his planet's diminishing population. He finds that woman in teenaged Tonia, but he does not count on the strong feelings that he develops for her. His fascination with water—they have little of it on his planet—lures him too far, and Tonia rescues him from a watery death. He asks for swimming lessons, and in only a few short days, the two become inseparable. Although Tonia cares for Branko, she recognizes that he does not seem to be what he claims. She starts to believe the notion of her best friend, alien enthusiast Beatrice, that he is from another planet. The truth comes out, and the young lovers must make some difficult decisions about their future together. This easy-to-read romance will hook teenage girls who normally shy away from science fiction. The focus is on Tonia and Branko, but Logue manages to create a whole cast of memorable characters. Especially impressive is the role of Tonia's parents, who play a significant part in the story and are not just dismissed into the background. Although the ending is a bit pat, giving little information on how the characters' lives end up, this novel is generally an enjoyable read that moves quickly from Branko's to Tonia's point of view. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P J S (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, HarperCollins, 134p, $14.95. Ages 13 to 18.Reviewer: Shari Fesko

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
A captivating fiction, this story focuses on the alien Branko who comes to earth in an effort to replenish his planet. His mission is to find a female that he can bring back to help with procreation. Though he is successful in finding a female to return with him, his own desires and planet's needs become secondary to the future and well-being that would await his love Tonia. True love prevents him from turning Tonia into a baby-making machine. The story has amusing tones with narratives from both Tonia, a seventeen-year-old in love, and Branko, an alien experiencing Minnesota life. Flipping back and forth between the two main characters, readers get two perspectives on the events that transpire. Branko's reactions to American customs, fashions, and idioms are indeed comical. Without getting too scientific and extraterrestrial, the author presents the idea of alien beings in a light humorous read that may stir the hearts of anyone who has been in love before. 2000, HarperCollins Children's Books/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 12 up, $14.95 and $14.89. Reviewer: Melinda Tierney—Children's Literature
School Library Journal
Gr 8-10-In the same vein as Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate (Delacorte, 1997) and Patricia Windsor's The Blooding (Scholastic, 1996), a teen becomes involved in a doomed romance with a nonhuman lover. Tonia, a strong-minded 17-year-old, finds her first love when she saves an unusual young man from drowning. Once she discovers where he is from, she must decide whether to follow him to the stars or let him leave without her and lose his love forever. Branko, a visitor from another planet whose entire female population was lost to disease, has been sent to Earth to find a female willing to go back with him. He doesn't anticipate falling in love with the girl he chooses to help repopulate his planet, and he must choose between sacrificing his love for Tonia and watching her become a baby factory, or abandoning her to live her life normally on Earth and possibly seeing his race die. Chapters alternate between the young people's perspectives. Logue uses the agonizing choices and different voices to develop the characters with whom readers can sympathize. The prose reads cleanly, and while the end may be predictable to some, the process through which Branko and Tonia arrive at their decisions creates a bittersweet mood that can be appreciated by all.-Trish Anderson, Pinkerton Elementary School, Coppell, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060283186
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/1900
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 470L (what's this?)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Branko

I am here.

On this very green Earth. The sun shines for fourteen hours and thirty-three minutes today. The sky is blue like they said it would be.

I am here on a mission.

The atmosphere is rich with smells, thick with water in my nose and chest, and from time to time, small, whining bugs that fly and bite. Martha, my hostess, told me they are called mosquitoes.

Martha and Fred, my host family, seem very nice but strange. Maybe all humans will be strange to me, but they flutter about me like birds. I know about birds. They were in the movies I saw. Martha is always asking me things. It tires me to talk so much. I feel exhausted from moving my mouth the way I have to in order to form these Earth words.

Martha told me that I looked like a regular teenager. Tall, skinny body, unruly hair. I have a mirror above my dresser in my new room and I stand up and look into it. My skin is possibly smoother than it should be. We worked hard on that, but it is still not quite the right surface. The only solution we came up with for my frizzy hair was to keep it cut fairly short. It's dyed the color brown.

I asked her if I was handsome. She looked me up and down. "Rugged, I'd say. And tall."

I thought mountains were rugged. But that's why I was sent–because I'm rugged. And because I'm short for my people. Not tall as Martha thinks. I am only six feet four inches tall.

Martha said she'd show me around town tomorrow. The small town of North St. Paul. We picked it because it's right on the edge of two cities–Minneapolis and St. Paul–and because the people here must be tough. They manage to live throughtemperatures that range from forty degrees below zero to over a hundred degrees above zero. It was near ninety degrees today, very comfortable.

Fred asked me if I wanted to go fishing.

"There's a lake a couple blocks away," he told me when I didn't say anything.

"I don't believe in fishing," I said.

"Oh." His mouth stayed in a round O shape for a while.

"We don't kill anything. Life is too precious."

"Yes, I see."

"I'd like to walk to the lake."

"Let's go now, before supper."

"I'd like that."

"Do you mind if I fish?" he asked.

"I'm not here to interfere."

They are trying hard, but they are a little afraid of me.

When we walked to the lake, I couldn't believe my eyes. The largest body of water I had ever seen. Nowhere is water allowed to pool on the surface like this back home. Fred dropped his hook into the water and I sat at the edge of the dock and stared.

The water was so beautiful. All different colors. Blue from the sky, gray from the stones, even flecks of green danced across it. Light edged its waves. The wind ruffled its surface. Ever-changing. Our life source. I gently dipped my hand into the cool liquid. What a luxury. Then I saw people were submerging their bodies in it. And no one was stopping them. They were running and thrashing around in the lake, hitting it with their arms and legs. I remembered it was called swimming.

I asked Fred if I could go in the water. He said sure.

I walked off the dock and stood at the edge of the lake. I had never had water all over my body before. When we are dirty, we use a special instrument to vacuum our bodies. Water is too precious to waste on washing. So, with great hesitation, I took my first step into the lake. It was cool and moist against my ankles. I kept walking, slow, easy steps. It was difficult to move through it. It grabbed my body, made my clothes heavy. I walked until only my head was above water. It was delicious. My body had never felt so light and cool.

My head was near the dock where Fred was fishing. He stared down at me. "Maybe you should have taken your clothes off," he said.

"All of them?" I asked.

"No, just your shoes and shirt. Do you know how to swim?"

"No, but I have read about it."

"You need to learn to swim."

I opened my mouth and took a big drink of water. Fred watched me and shook his head.

When we got home, Martha made me take off my wet clothes even though I told her they felt good.

We ate supper. I told them I did not want to eat the meat of the cow. But I liked the potatoes. They remind me of a tuber we also grow. I drank a glass of milk and ate a peanut butter cookie. The food has many flavors. Some I like and some taste like chemicals. But I will try anything except flesh.

Now the sky has turned dark and the stars are blinking in it. It looks like the same sky I have seen all my life, except the stars are moved around. Martha and Fred are sleeping. I looked into their room and they are in the same bed. I have never seen two people sleeping together. Their breathing is slow and heavy. I have heard that humans sleep up to ten hours a night. I need only four hours of resting.

In bed my body feels overloaded with the moisture in the air. I miss my home. I'm afraid of what I must try to do. Maybe they sent me here because they knew I would fail. But others have succeeded. I rub my face with my hands to calm myself.

I will take a few days to acclimatize. Then I need to begin my search. I have only a short time to do what I was sent here to do.

I am here to find a female.

Dancing with an Alien. Copyright © by Mary Logue. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2011

    amazing but at the same time sad

    Well i have to say i loved it. really i did. i felt like i knew the ending but didn't want it to happen that way it just too sad. I finished the book in a day though and i liked it but at the same time I hated it but the ending did make sense to me .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2008

    Well..

    I do like this book, but the whole love part came to quick in my opinion. & the ending is quite surprising even though you already know it's going to happen. *sighs* liked it but didn't like the ending. It was too quick and sad!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2002

    a reviewer

    I like the book alot I like the part were Mia and Barnko went skinnydipping. That was so bad!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2002

    Best book ever!

    I loved this book! Especially when they got down and dirty! I loved it when Branko and Mia went skinnydipping! That was soo bad! My fav part though was when Mia put her hand down his pants and felt his croch! That is soo awesome!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2002

    perfect book!!!!!

    it a very great book, i couldn't stop reading it so i finish the whole book in one day....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2001

    Excellent book!

    If you like Aliens and/or romance then I tottaly recomend that you read this book. It's amazing how this book will make you not let it go! I read it in one day! I garantee you'll love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2000

    Dancing with an alien.

    Dancing with an alien is very good book for teenagers. It is a very interesting story that makes you not want to stop reading the book. While i was reading it, i actually started to believe that the story was true. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a book that has love, drama, and science fiction in it at the same time! Its a great book!!

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