Great Illustrated Books

The True Meaning of Smekday

By Adam Rex

Hyperion, 2007
Pages : 432
Suggested Ages: 9 and Up
ISBN: 9780786849000

Writing an essay about how the Smekday holiday (formerly called Christmas) has changed in the year since the aliens left, eighth grader Gratuity Tucci, known as Tip, offers her story of her singular experiences since the Boov invasion in 2013. Though the aliens have just announced that all Americans must relocate to Florida, Tip's mom has already been abducted, called up to the spaceships by signals from a mole on her neck. Tip figures she'll drive there in her mom's little hatchback with her cat Pig, but after avoiding a barricade and being shot at by a Boov patrol, she blows a tire at mile forty-eight where the road has been destroyed. Stopping at an abandoned convenience store, Tip encounters the enemy—a broad-headed many-legged male Boov, incongruously named J-Lo, who fixes her car so it can hover instead of roll. Wildly inventive, outrageously funny, and thoroughly original, this Girl Saves Earth with Help from a Boov roadtrip adventure is one of the most beguiling sci fi stories ever.

At you can view a Boov training video, a guide to Boovish uniforms, and other fun stuff. Go to to see more of the art from this amazingly talented man. And don’t miss his unforgettable poetry and art in Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and the new Frankenstein Takes the Cake.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Anderson, M. T. Whales on Stilts. Harcourt, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0152053949

Bechard, Margaret. Star Hatchling. Viking, 1995. ISBN-13: 978-0140375817

Brittain, Bill. Shape-Changer. HarperCollins, 1994. ISBN-13: 978-0064405140

Collins, Suzanne. Gregor the Overlander. Scholastic, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0439435369

Conly, Jane Leslie. The Rudest Alien on Earth. Henry Holt, 2002. ISBN-13: 978-0805060690

Gauthier, Gail. My Life Among the Aliens. Putnam, 1996. ISBN-13: 978-0698116368

L'Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time. Farrar, 1962. ISBN-13: 978-0312367541

Pratchett, Terry. The Wee Free Men. HarperCollins, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0060012380

Reeve, Philip. Larklight. Bloomsbury, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0747584407

Rex, Adam. Frankenstein Takes the Cake. Harcourt, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0152062354

Rex, Adam. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. Harcourt, 2006. ISBN-10: 0152057668

Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. Miramax/Hyperion, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0786838653

Service, Pamela. Stinker from Space. Scribner, 1988. ISBN-13: 978-0449703304

Sleator, William. Into the Dream. Dutton, 1979. ISBN-13: 978-0141308142

Sleator, William. The Night the Heads Came. Dutton, 1996. ISBN-13: 978-0525454632

Tan, Shaun. The Arrival. Scholastic, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0439895293

Critics have said

Although it's a book for children, adults will find this page turner, really a satire about the conquering of foreign cultures, entertaining as well. Its pacing and cadence make it a perfect story for reading aloud, and it's almost impossible to resist sharing great lines with people nearby.
The New York Times, Lisa Von Drasek

Who knew the end of the world could be so hilarious?
Publishers Weekly

I highly recommend this book for readers looking for fun mixed in with their science fiction.
Jean Boreen, Ph.D., Children