Tuesday 14 June 2016

Blog Tour Review + Guest Blog Post: Help! I'm An Alien by Jo Franklin, Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)

 16th June 2016, Troika Books, 176 pages, Review copy 

Summary from Troika Books
‘I have nothing in common with my family!’

Daniel Kendall is different—different to the other Kendalls anyway.  After all, he’s the only one with brown hair and brown eyes and what’s more, he’s taller than his family, his friends and probably everyone else in the entire world.

Big sister Jessie has made it clear just how different Daniel is, by explaining that he is in fact, an alien, kindly adopted by her parents. Confused, Daniel turns to his best friends, Eddie and Gordon the Geek, for help. Together perhaps they can work out where he really belongs.

Nayu's thoughts
I think I understamd why Daniel thoght he was an alien; he was feeling so different to his family, and his sister stated he wasn't human with such conviction he believed her. He found differences between his family and himself that proved he was different. I was pleased his unique friends whose characteristics made me smile and grimace in equal measure, yet they pull out all the stops to help Daniel get to his true home. 

I was happily shocked at how far the cyrogenic experiment went, and loved it as part of the plot. His mother soon forgets she didn't want Freddo or Gordon around after that incident, which is good (sort of) for Daniel.. It's clear that Freddo's family isn't on the right side of the law, but his heart is in the right place and he helps Daniel every step of the crazy plan, just like Gordon who is a kind geek who adores new shiny toys whatever the legality of their origin. 

I was surprised at how many times I nearly cried from the sweet gestures that Daniel receives. The story gets scary when a communication venture goes rather wrong, providing a good message not to give out your address to anyone in any language. I loved the random moods genertator moments for Daniel's sister Jessie, because she is definitely a tempermental teen with attitude. Even little Tommie is useful, as well as adding a cute factor and raising the stakes at the dramatic finale. Only I hope it's not the end as I want more adventures from this crazy boy trio! Just maybe not involving ice cubes or a wendy house...

Find out more on Jo's website, and read more about the series in her guest post below!

Suggested read
Another alien themed series you'll enjoy is the Moonbaby series by Maudie Smith including the tissue needing finale Opal Moonbaby Forever by Maudie Smith (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E, semi-short 'n' sweet review)

Guest Blog Post by Jo Franklin
Meet Jo!

Help I'm an Alien! Ten year old Daniel feels such a misfit that when his incredibly-annoying-elder-sister tells him he's an alien, he believes her. With the help of his two friends Freddo and Gordon the Geek, Daniel tries to return to his home planet. But things don't go to plan and suddenly Dan has to decide whether he is an alien or a human after all.

Jo Franklin says
The biggest driver for me writing Help I'm in Alien was that other funny books aimed at boys seemed to be a string of gags with no narrative thread.  I think a strong story is essential because children are being tempted away from reading  by instant-hit video games and sound-bite YouTube videos. A great story makes the reader want to turn the page.

As well as being passionate about reading and writing for, about and with children, I am also a stationary addict. Many authors are! We are willing to write on the back of an envelope if we have to, but we’d prefer to use our Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebooks and our italic nib Lamy pens to craft our words. Well I would anyway!

I set up a stationary review website with a friend called www.paperspenspoets.co.uk with a special emphasis on authors and how they obsess about the stationery they use every day.

My stationery taste isn’t just aesthetic. Stationery also has to be practical. My favourite gadget is this stapleless stapler which is perfect for clipping my chapters together. 
 I also love this pencil case which is small enough  to fit into my handbag but also has a few hidden pockets for spare ink cartridges and paperclips. Another great feature is that it converts into a pen stand. I use both these items every day to write.

Help I’m an Alien  is the first book in the series published by Troika Books. Help I’m a Genius and Help I’m a Detective will be coming soon. Meanwhile, I'm writing something new. It’s top-secret but here's a clue. Woof.

You can find out more about Jo at www.jofranklinauthor.co.uk and @jofranklin2 on Twitter and Instagram

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