Journal of a UFO Investigator

David Halperin, Viking, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-02245-8
Set in the mid-1960s, religious studies professor Halperin's gripping debut is less about aliens than alienation. Danny Shapiro, a 16-year-old UFO geek living in Philadelphia, grows estranged from his normal school friends. His dark fantasies lead him to hook up with a crew of teen UFO investigators who are as hardcore as they are precocious. As his seriously ill mother grows worse, Danny encounters the legendary Men in Black, flies a disk, gets lost in the middle of the earth and on the moon as well as strapped down on an alien operating table. A Jewish kid who doesn't believe in God, he studies the Bible and explores his religious heritage. Strange twists abound as Danny becomes the caretaker of a half-alien female child and gets ensnared in regional hostilities in Israel. While the science fiction talk may put off some, this heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a boy losing and finding his way in this and other worlds will resonate with many readers. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
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