4/3/2011 ** I want to invite my students to participate in the Young Hoosier Book Awards this year. I thought I should read a few more of the books! This one is by Pam Service, long-time resident of Indiana, though the book jacket says she's now living in CA. My Cousin, the Alien
seemed reminiscent of some of Bruce Coville's books. The cousin of the narrator is convinced he's an under-cover alien who's actually a prince from some distant planet. He leads the narrator on a series of adventures as they attempt to evade two other enemy aliens. The text is generously accompanied by black and white block & comic drawings that look like some of the more heavily illustrated pages in the Captain Underpants
books. There is a nice twist in the plot at the end. While the characterization may be a little superficial or broadly drawn, the boys are distinct and believable.
On another note, if you're from Indiana, look for the resort that the boys' families visit. I'm sure it's French Lick, though Service calls it Deer Springs and talks about the Vulcan Wasser that was drunk for 'medicinal purposes' back in the early days of the resort. The narrator's description is a dead ringer for this real-life location.
4/7/11 ** I have two boys sharing this book right now, taking turns reading it. One seems very engrossed and I'm looking forward to talking with him about the book tomorrow.