It Came from the Sky

Sourcebooks/Fire. Aug. 2020. 512p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492673026.
Gr 9 Up–The white Hofstadt family lives outside of Pittsburgh in rural Pennsylvania. Nothing is particularly interesting about them: Ishmael is a charming high school senior, Gideon is a science-minded junior, 13-year-old Maggie loves softball, and mom and dad are attentive and loving. But when Gideon and Ishmael set off an explosion—in the name of science—large enough to register on university seismographs, the chain of events that follows places the Hofstadts, especially Gideon, in the center of an alien invasion hoax, the bringing-down of a millionaire multi-level marketing guru, an alien cult, a missing cow, and the destruction of the world’s largest lava lamp. Alongside attending high school, working at ye olde ice cream shoppe, learning to drive, and navigating friendships and first loves, Gideon struggles to keep control of the sociological experiment that he inadvertently put into motion. What he discovers is that people make terrible subjects, what with having their own interests and feelings and other illogical behaviors. Funny and lighthearted, this is a story about a young man who is learning about being human in the world, being loved, and showing care for others (like his ever-patient, kind-of boyfriend Owen).
VERDICT Fans of Pete Hautman’s dark humor, E. Lockhart’s playful formats (letters and emails and transcripts, for example), Libba Bray’s grasp of the outrageous, and John Green’s sense of place will enjoy Sedoti’s newest offering.

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