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Seventh Grade (Alien!) Hero

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Dustin has captured a tiny alien spaceship—but someone else wants it and will stop at nothing to get it…
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Author: K.L. Pickett
Description
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Genre  Middle Grade Sci-Fi

Release  April 12, 2013

Editor  Katie Hines

Line Editor  Les Tucker

Cover Designer  Charlotte Volnek

Words  30750

Pages  124

ISBN  978-1-77127-300-8

Price  $4.50

Back Cover

Seventh-grader Dustin Cotter dreams of being the first human to make contact with an alien species from outer space. So when he discovers that the meteorite he watched crash-landing is really a miniature spacecraft, he’s determined to capture it.

     But first a dog grabs it. A dog that happens to be owned by Randie, the cutest girl at his new school. Then it gets stolen by another kid on horseback: Max, the school comedian/magician/cowboy. Dustin finally manages to get it back, and his dream of making contact comes true when he meets Bok, the tiny alien astronaut.

     However, a dangerous motorcyclist saw the crash-landing, too. He wants the spaceship and will stop at nothing until it’s in his possession. And then one dark night, the man catches Dustin alone out in the desert - and Dustin’s dream turns into a life-threatening nightmare.       

Excerpt

Sitting on my bed, I propped myself against the wall. For a while, I just sat there, wondering about the ship. Where had it come from? Why was it here? What was going on inside of it? Was the alien in it alone? Was I right in letting Randie talk me into keeping it here overnight? Was I safe having it here in my room?

Thinking about Randie got me thinking about school, and I remembered I had to read a chapter in my history book for homework, so I got it off my desk and opened it on my lap.

I must have dozed off because the next thing I knew the hologram was back in the center of the room. This time the alien was sitting in some kind of strange chair shaped to the form of his body. It looked like a cross between a recliner and a dentist’s chair. He had his feet up and sat there staring at me. I sat up straight and stared back.

“Greetings,” I said.

He saluted me. “GREETINGS.”

I saluted him back. “Are you the same astronaut I saw before?”

“ONLY. ONE.”

“You’re by yourself?”

“AFFIRMATIVE.”

I felt like I was playing twenty questions. Having a conversation with him was like having one with my mom when she’s really mad at me.

“What is your name?”

“NAME. BOK.”

Now we were getting somewhere. “Hello, Bok. I’m Dustin.”

“DUSTIN. KEEP. BOK. SAFE.”

My immediate thought was of Randie and my promise to her. “Yes, I’ll keep you safe.” Safe for tonight, at least. I had no idea what would happen tomorrow.

“WHAT. IN. HAND.”

What in hand? I looked down at my hands and saw my history book. I held it up. “This?”

“AFFIRMATIVE.”

“It’s a schoolbook. Homework. From. School.” Oh great. Now I’m beginning to talk like him.

Bok was silent again for some time. Was he trying to figure out what I’d just said? He seemed to have trouble with the English language. I wondered what he spoke on his own planet.

“HOMEWORK. BOK. HERE.”

Now what did he mean by that? He was here to help me with my homework? No, that didn’t make any sense. Bok was here to do homework? I blinked. Could that be it? Coming to earth was some sort of homework assignment?

“Earth is your homework?”

“AFFIRMATIVE.”

“You’re here to study the earth?”

“AFFIRMATIVE. NOT. LAND. MISTAKE.”

Now I thought I was beginning to understand. He had come to our solar system to study the earth, but he wasn’t supposed to land. Maybe all the meteors had caused him to crash.

“Is your homework complete?”

“AFFIRMATIVE.”

I wondered what he’d learned about us. That this would be a good planet to take over and live on? That it was already populated with giants? Was he in communication with his own planet? Had he already sent back all the information he had about earth?

“When do you go back?”

“AFTER. REPAIRS.”

“How long will your repairs take?”

“UNKNOWN.”

That answer didn’t help me much. I didn’t know if the ship would be fixed tonight, tomorrow, or next year.

“Can you fix it?”

“TAKE. TIME. DUSTIN. KEEP. SAFE.”

“Right, Dustin keep you safe.” What else could I say?

“REST. NOW.”

The hologram disappeared, the antenna slipped back down into the ship, and the porthole slid shut. And, just like last time, the faint humming stopped.

I stared at the ship for a few minutes, but it was hard keeping my eyes open. Shutting off the light, I snuggled under my covers. Although my eyelids were heavy, my mind was still racing. I needed to tell someone about the alien. Not Mom; she’d just freak out. But who else was there?

Maybe the newspaper would be the best place. Telling them I’d made contact with an alien was certain to make me famous! And once they made the news public, the government couldn’t keep it a secret.

I was picturing myself posing for a newspaper photographer when I fell asleep.

 alt

K.L. Pickett was born in Southern California. Her first job as a young teenager was collecting eggs on an egg ranch. She’s had many occupations since then: preschool teacher, real estate salesperson, special education teacher’s assistant, loan officer, furniture salesperson, and agricultural biologist. She currently teaches fourth grade in a tiny rural elementary school.

Over fifty of her stories and articles have appeared in national magazines such as Boys’ Life, Highlights for Children, Humpty Dumpty, and Ladybug under the name Karen Troncale.

She’s rescued dozens of cats, dogs, and birds in her life including a pelican, a pheasant, and several crows. An avid animal-lover, she’s a volunteer for the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter, designing their flyers each week and writing their public radio announcements.

Currently she resides in Tombstone, Arizona, along with her husband, dog, and mule. When she’s not writing, reading, or teaching, she’s riding her mule along the same desert trails that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday rode upon.

SEVENTH GRADE (ALIEN!) HERO is her first book.

Reviews

Thursday, 23 July 2015
Have you ever dreamed of being famous? Would you like to do something spectacular that will get you in the newspapers and on TV? Maybe you’ve been successful and accomplished your dreams. Or maybe you became famous in a different way than you imagined.

In Author K. L. Pickett’s MG science fiction novel, we meet Dustin Cotter as he and his mother adjust to a new home in a new state after his parents’ divorce. A move to a strange town, where you don’t know anyone at school, is tough on a seventh-grade boy, or any boy for that matter. Making friends is hard to do. There’s Miranda, his nearest neighbor who isn’t very near since they live way out in the desert. He’d like to know Miranda better. Then there’s Max, who picks on Dustin. Yes, it’s a tough beginning for Dustin in his new home.

If only he could do something to make himself famous, Miranda might pay attention to him and he might remind his dad he has a son. When a tiny, tiny spaceship crash lands out in the desert, Dustin sees his chance. As has happened for most of his life, things turn out a lot different than he has planned. I’m not going to give anything away, but be prepared for an adventure you won’t soon forget as you travel along with Dustin, Miranda, and Max on a journey that only seventh-graders could think of.

K. L. Pickett has written a fun story that young readers and older readers alike should enjoy. SEVENTH GRADE ALIEN HERO might remind you of those days when you were a kid and believed that most anything could happen if you wanted it enough. I recommend this book for school libraries, public libraries, and your own personal library.
###
Beverly Stowe McClure
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
SEVENTH GRADE (ALIEN) HERO by K.L. Pickett is my sec HERO deserves every one of the

FIVE STARS I'm giving it.

Keep up the great work K.L. Pickett.

Check out Ms. Pickett's other delightful tale MAYBE IT'S MAGIC too. You'll join me in being a K.L. Pickett fan.
Lin Holmes

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