While their rambling space station home is being renovated, Art, Myrtle and their 4 million year-old space alien Mom accept an invitation to a vacation resort located out in the far reaches of the universe. The resort, it’s guests and the resort’s owner are not at all what they first appear. Creepy attack puppets, aliens disquised as hats that attach to your head and control your every thought, a maniac evil genius bent on dominating the universe…the usual for Art and Myrtle. Luckily, their favorite space pirate Jack Havock is at the resort too, undercover and ready for action. If you haven’t read Larklight, read it first, then read Starcross – you will be happy to know that a third book called Mothstorm is on the way (Oct. 14, 2008), and that the series has been optioned for a movie. Author: Philip Reeve Illustrator: David Wyatt
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Emmy is trying so hard to be good. Her parents are busy jet-setting all over the world in search of money and status while Emmy is left home alone with her cold and distant nanny Miss Barmy. Still, Emmy tries to be good. No one at school seems to like or care about Emmy either – not one person in the classroom seems to notice she exists at all. And yet Emmy STILL tries to be good. “She did her homework without being told. She ate all her vegetables, even the slimy ones. And she never talked back to her nanny, Miss Barmy, although it was almost impossible to keep quiet, some days. She really was a little too good. Which is why she liked to sit by the Rat. The Rat was not good at all . . .” The rat is Emmy’s classroom pet. He isn’t cute or cuddly, in fact, he’s a nasty little beast! Emmy can sometimes relate to the rat, because some days, she’d like to be a nasty little beast too!
One day, when the rat bites Emmy, she finds that she can actually hear what he is saying. As if the rat’s poor behavior isn’t bad enough, now she has to listen to his crabby complaining, pouting, bragging, and whining. His rotten attitude is hardly worth having this startling new power! Then the rat bites Joe, the class cool guy, who can now hear him speak too..and then he bites Joe again and shrinks him to the size of an action figure! What’s a good friend like Emmy to do but offer to get bitten a second time and shrink too? Now a few inches high, Joe and Emmy free the rat and begin an adventure to find out the source of the rat’s power and how to reverse it. Along the way, they get help from some new four legged friends and get on the trail of Emmy’s own Miss Barmy, who isn’t just cold and distant, she’s evil too!
The rat is definately the star in this one. His biting comments and sarcastic one-liners kept me laughing through the whole book. Emmy reminds me of Molly Moon from Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism. Both girls feel isolated, alone and unloved, yet they don’t give up on their search for friendship and happiness. Author: Lynne Jonell Illustrator: Jonathan Bean
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat Web Comic Used With Permission:
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