The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex was assigned reading for a Joni Sensel writing workshop. I love science fiction, but with its made-up title, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up on my own. Am I glad it was assigned!
Timely and timeless, the book pokes fun at today’s conventions and at history’s less dazzling events. It examines relationships and power, but it keeps you reading with a screwball adventure and the cast of characters. This is another tale that makes you cast aside your doubts for the sake of the ride.
When the Boov take Earth after trashing their own planet, they move humans to Florida to “Human Preserves-gifts of land that will be for humans forever.” Forever only lasts until the Boov discover oranges, but not as a food source.
The narrator is twelve-year-old Gratuity Tucci. When her mother goes missing she decides to drive to Florida with her Mom’s cat, Pig. At a closed convenience store, while she’s picking up NutriZone Extreme FitnessPlus Blaster Bars for the road, she also picks up a Boov who calls himself J.Lo. The multi-species trio set out to save the world with stops in Carolina; Happy Mouse Kingdom; and Roswell, New Mexico.
Smekday is laugh-out-loud funny and will appeal to a wide range of readers, from upper elementary students to very mature ones, like myself. The True Meaning of Smekday has everything it needs to become a cult classic. Maybe it already is.