Roswell Johnson Saves the World!

Little, Brown. (Roswell Johnson: Bk. 1). Jun. 2024. 464p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316515047.
Gr 4-7–Colfer’s newest novel delivers a fast-paced science fiction adventure splashed with truth. Seventh grader Roswell Johnson was named after the famed 1947 UFO event in Roswell, NM. Raised by his grandparents and with both parents deceased, Roswell remembers enough of his father to have inherited his love of science, particularly involving planets, space, and aliens. Although others don’t ascribe to his belief in extraterrestrials, Roswell gets an up-close and personal experience when he is accidentally abducted by a pair of aliens who want some DNA from a chicken to add to their collection. Roswell is sent on a whirlwind tour of the universe in a quest to save Earth from the Reptoids, an evil set of reptilian-like aliens bent on universal domination. Roswell, who is Black, is wise beyond his years in his knowledge of space, and converses easily with primarily adult aliens who all speak in English, with the exception of a cyborg who only speaks with beeps and boops. Readers will find Roswell kind, empathetic, and winning as he navigates his way around the universe with a cast of characters from various planets and dimensions in space. Colfer has nicely set up this 400-plus page novel for a sequel, much like his “Land of Stories” series.
VERDICT A first purchase for libraries seeking adventurous science fiction mingled with facts about the universe.

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