- Craig Graziano
Michael K. already has a few strikes against him. He's a new kid at a new school in a new town, but did he really have to get stuck sitting next to the two weirdest kids in the classroom? The girl, Jennifer, is halfway through eating her pencil when the boy, Bob, tells Michael that the two of them aren't human. They are Spaceheadz.
Bob, Jennifer, and the hamster, Major Fluffy, are on an intergalatic mission to save Earth. They must do this by recruiting 3.14 million Earthlings as Spaceheadz, and they think Michael K. is the person to help them get the job done.
The Anti-Alien Agency is on to them, though. Agent Umber is on the case with his standard issue Picklephone®.
Michael K. doesn't really want to help three strange aliens posing as children and a hamster. He just wants to be normal, slipping through the school day unnoticed and untouched by bullies or name-calling. But how can you stay under the radar when two kids keep following you around quoting television commercials such as, "TASTE THE RAINBOW!" and "THINK OUTSIDE THE BUN!"?
Author Jon Scieszka wryly comments on commercials and other aspects of our culture in ways that kids will understand and find funny, such as when the aliens go shopping and see Charmin toilet paper. They don't really know what it does. "It makes bears happy!" they exclaim.
Turns out that these interstellar travelers have been learning about us from the television waves we have beamed beyond the Solar System as Captain Fluffy explains in an entire chapter of "eek week ee eek!" Michael K. just happened to be in one of those commercials when he was younger, and they think he is their only hope.
Scieszka once again shows his ability to create funny tales for reluctant readers, in the vein of Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories from Wayside School. That title and the two Spaceheadz books know how to get weird without being overcomplicated. There's even a nice Web site tie-in for the book.
Will Michael K. help this peculiar trio, or will Agent Umber get the drop on them? More importantly, will Jennifer stop eating pencils, and will Captain Fluffy ever speak English? Read to find out!