Sci-Fi Junior High
SCI-FI JUNIOR HIGH is a fun galactic adventure that while wild with imagination tells a story that anyone could relate to. The novel follows Kelvin Klosmo, whose family is moving from Earth to a spaceship with beings from all over the galaxy. Everyone living on this spaceship was hand selected, so only the two most intelligent beings from each planet --- and their family --- could come. The two most intelligent humans on Earth are Kelvin’s mom and dad, which should make him the smartest kid in the universe --- well at least that is what everyone expects of him.
Kelvin has always felt like he has to live up to his parent’s intelligence and success. That’s why when he gets to his new school, he has a chance to start over and make new friends. But when he gets there everyone from the principal and teachers to the students expect him to be the smartest kid in the universe since both his parents are geniuses. Kelvin likes the attention and popularity being the smartest kid in the universe brings him, but it is really hard to pretend to be someone he isn’t.
"In the vein of DORK DIARIES, this book is loads of fun with lots of adventure. Middle grade readers will love its wacky jokes and hilarious pictures."
In the vein of DORK DIARIES, this book is loads of fun with lots of adventure. Middle grade readers will love its wacky jokes and hilarious pictures. The story is told partially with text and partially with illustrations that truly aid in the world building for the novel. Similarly, Kelvin’s classmates and soon-to-be-friends are aliens of all shapes and sizes. The illustrations of all of the SCI-FI JUNIOR HIGH students were quirky and funny. It really helped to imagine all of the characters and their distinct personalities. The authors created a great group of friends that I look forward to seeing in future books.
I liked the inner conflict that Kelvin is dealing with throughout the novel. Since he is a not as smart as his parents and he is dealing with hiding that from his teachers and new friends. I loved that every time it would almost be revealed something happened. The resolution that Kelvin’s new robot dog was protecting him and the robot dog was made by his father. I loved how great the family dynamic was in this story and seeing how supportive his parents were of the fact that he isn’t just like them made it even better.
One aspect of the novel that I did not appreciate was the main character’s need to assign everyone a gender. There is an inherent androgynous look to the visual concept of little green men and Kelvin is constantly wondering what gender the aliens at his school are. This does not teach children how they should respect people’s gender identity and not feel the need to assign a binary to people.
Young readers will love the mad scientist bunny robot villain and plotline. I enjoyed seeing the perspective of the villain. It made him much more grounded and gave motivations to the character.
SCI-FI JUNIOR HIGH is a story about making friends in a now home and being okay with you are. While set in outer space with a ton of alien characters, this story could not be more relatable to young readers. I can’t wait to see what Kelvin, his friends and family get up to in later books!
Reviewed by Dana Cuadrado on February 23, 2017