The Fellowship for Alien Detection by Kevin Emerson

Walden Pond Press, 2013

Haley’s plans for the summer after eighth grade have turned out to be a little disappointing. She didn’t make it into the exclusive music camp she’d gone to last summer. Even worse, she didn’t win the internship with the newspaper in New York City where she was hoping to meet her journalistic hero. But she knows she didn’t put her full attention into those applications, she’d been too focused on the application for the Fellowship for Alien Detection and the mysterious missing time events happening around the country.

Now Haley and her family are off on a road trip funded by the fellowship. Maybe she’ll be able to solve the time mystery. But Haley has a sneaking suspicion that she should have told her parents, and the foundation, the real reason she is so caught up in researching the possibility of aliens on Earth. Unfortunately, it’s too late now…

Meantime, Dodger’s got some misgivings about his own summer plans. There are no real reasons for him to stay in Washington State; it doesn’t feel like home, even though he’s lived there all his life. But what will he and his dad possibly talk about when they’re on the road doing research for his Society for Alien Detection fellowship? They can’t even manage to talk at home.

A great middle grade summer tale, my 12-year-old son and I both read and loved it. Haley and Dodger have the perfect mix of family dependence, early-teen capability, and just the right amount of angst. The plot is exciting and moves right along. We were both drawn right into the story and held our breath through the climax to the end. This is a book to read in the summer, or any time you’ve got plenty of time to contemplate the important questions, like what if aliens really did come to Earth? Would we even know?

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