Greetings and salutations!
Today is another FANTASTIC release day, and while there are a plethora of titles I'd love to feature right here, right now, you're getting a glimpse at the latest duo I finished, of which the sequel just released! Excited? Well, you should be because it's not like a lot of other books out there, and it's a Middle Grade Sci-fi adventure to boot! Ready, set, let's get between the pages of today's books of choice...
Union Square Kids
Okay, so even though book two was the one releasing today, I really prefer starting a series at the beginning, hence the DOUBLE READ and DOUBLE REVIEW! If you've already read the first book, congrats; you know what I'm about to expound upon. If not, no worries...no time like the present!
In book one...we meet Ethan Fairmont.
DUN DUN DUNNNNNN
Okay, not really...I mean, we meet him, and his friends, family, the newcomers to town, and welcome back others that deserted him previously, but apparently had their reasons (which come out during the story). But I digress...Ethan is an inventor, somewhat genius, and a middle grade friend. He means well, but can tend to focus on himself a bit much at times in lieu of those around him...such was not the case when he came upon Cheese. No, not cheese the food, but rather Cheese the little alien that appears in his designated workshop with his pinball ship and...oops. Let me backtrack. I told you from the start, these books are not exactly what they seem. Ethan has more on his plate this summer than he imagined, but with the help of a new friend, and perhaps the aid of an old one, he'll get his chance to reach the stars...or at least help someone else reach them before it's too late!
In book two...we're back with Ethan and friends, but the trouble is not over!
Cheese may be gone, but that doesn't mean those seeking him...man, or...something else... have given up the trail...and that's only part of Ethan's problems. He's getting ready for the school year, dealing with new friends and old, discovering his feelings for a one of those friends may have turned into something else, and battling his jealous side when he might not be the smartest one in the room. OH, and yeah, trying to figure out how to make the shiny thing with the flower power that Cheese might have left him actually work! Did I mention there are others on his trail? Did I also mention it's not just others, but might be Others? Yeah...danger ahead, my friends, DANGER AHEAD!
So I don't ruin the surprises because they are many, let me take another angle here. The series has a science fiction bend I wasn't expecting, while at the same time exploring much more than the far reaches of space...and the invaders that might be among us! (EEK!) We tackle everyday topics like friendship, bullying, growing up, families, and the importance of STEM in the school curriculum, but also racial inequality, prejudice, and the journey to citizenship. Some heavy hitters in that latter part too, and they don't spare the senses even with the Middle Grade genre it's written in. It's not a bad thing, but rather a "me too" thing, allowing readers from various backgrounds to either see themselves, recognize the past, future or current world conditions that still need change, or simply get a new viewpoint on an issue that has and does exist to this day. So yes, I was rather surprised by the content, but it melded entertainment with cultural education rather well, leaving room not only for the issues to be pointed out, but examined, all while witnessing the same for our otherworldly friends, AND entertaining us with a wild, and woolly tale that's out of this world.
A great add for your Middle Grade reading shelf, and an interesting selection perhaps for school reading with plenty of room for discussion. Don't miss Ethan Fairmont's adventures...and be prepared for more to come!
About the author...
Nick Brooks is an author and award-winning filmmaker. His short film Hoop Dreamin’ earned him the George Lucas Scholar Award and he was a finalist in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Film Fest. His short film Bee won the James Bridges and Jack Larson Award for Writing and Directing and premiered at the American Black Film Festival. A rising star, Brooks is poised to be a breakout author with his debut middle-grade novel, Nothing Ever Happens to Ethan Fairmont, and his YA debut title, Promise Boys. Nick currently lives in Los Angeles, California, and is originally from Washington, D.C. Visit Nick at thenickbrooks.com.
Special thanks to Jenny at Union Square & Co for the chance to bring this title to you as well as the copy for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer or visit your local brick and mortar store today to snag your copy to join the adventure!
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!