cover image The Alien That Ate My Socks

The Alien That Ate My Socks

Brandon Dorman. Shadow Mountain, $13.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-62972-222-1

This madcap series opener from Dorman (the Fablehaven series) begins with third-grader Henry Hooligan and his two older brothers racing go-carts with their archenemy, Rock Rubinstein, down Deadman’s Hill. When a huge purple creature appears in the road, it sends the brothers’ cart careening into a neighbor’s home, and when the boys sneak back up the hill to investigate, the creature hugs middle brother Hector, leaving him as smelly as the creature itself and temporarily unable to speak. Eventually, the brothers learn that the creature is a friendly alien named Hoolie with a voracious appetite for clothing. Their parents and neighbors are unsure about how to handle the situation, but when Hoolie proves his heroism during a house fire, they decide to protect him from a mysterious group trying to capture him. The near-constant wisecracking and trash-talking among the Hooligan brothers starts to wear thin pretty quickly, and while a steady stream of action and jokes push the story forward briskly, it’s best for those with a high tolerance for goofy inanity and gross-out gags. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7–12. [em](Sept.) [/em]