Greg Leitich Smith; illustrated by Andrew Arnold
Roaring Brook Press
Beach culture and UFOs collide in this lighthearted adventure story about an alien encounter at an aging Cocoa Beach motel.Twelve-year-old Aidan lives and works at his parents' motel on the Space Coast in Florida, so he's seen a lot of weird stuff. Even his best friend, Louis, is a little bit crazy—he's obsessed with UFOs and swears he saw one two years ago. But things at the Mercury Inn are about to get a whole lot weirder. When an actual unidentified flying object suddenly appears in the sky over the motel, Aidan begins to realize that some of the residents of the Mercury Inn may be much more unusual than he thought. And Louis might not be so crazy after all. Filled with quirky characters and atmosphere, this beachy alien caper, like the aging motel where it takes place, is anything but ordinary.
Like most of humanity that morning, I wasn’t thinking at all about aliens from outer space.
I was thinking about garbage.
To be exact, I was confronting the piles of trash that the Williamses had left scattered around the courtyard and pool areas of the Mercury Inn and Suites the night before.
My parents owned the motel, and because any bit of food left out overnight attracted roaches the size of Volkswagens, sanitation was my life. That morning, my life was not so good.
Plastic wineglasses from the Williamses’ anniversary party were strewn