BOOKS
Strange Days
432p. Putnam. Dec. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524740245. POP
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Gr 9 Up–Alex Mata is interested in playing guitar, hanging out with his friends, and getting his hands on the latest technology. He isn't too concerned about rumors that aliens might be real and might be kidnapping people. That is, until he comes home to find his parents murdered—by aliens. Shocked and confused, Alex is recruited to be a Witness by Jeffrey Sabazios, who claims that his technology can protect Earth from the alien incursions. As a Witness, Alex travels through time to observe future events and lock them into place. In Sabazios's compound, Alex finds his purpose and begins to grow closer to some of the other Witnesses. Alex's ability to move through time, however, is greater than that of his friends, and because of this, he uncovers secrets that he and the other Witnesses are not supposed to know. Faced with the truth, Alex has to make tough decisions about whom to trust as he tries, once again, to save the world. Alex narrates in a unique voice that will appeal to eager and reluctant readers alike. Featuring a diverse cast, this sci-fi novel is grounded in the real world: Alex tackles questions of identity and his own interactions with others all while trying to deal with the alien incursions. Fast-paced and intense, this is a compelling choice for readers looking for science fiction set closer to home.
VERDICT Purchase where there are fans of Scott Reintgen's "Nyxia" books.

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