The star of the show here is a middle schooler named Rod Allbright, and what stands out with him is that he can't lie like how Cinder the cyborg can't cry. He has two smaller siblings which are easier to identify as The Things exactly like from The Cat in the Hat. Out of the blue one day though, a miniature alien spaceship has a miscalculation upon arrival to Earth and ends up next to Rod's science fair project: a paper machee volcano which will explain the combustion reaction of sodium bicarbonate and acetic acid. The alien mission is simple: they are after a wanted galaxy criminal called BKR and Rod is the only human being they can trust. Minus Grekker. He and his Schwartzanegger face and all is too stern. Rod is the only trustworthy companion because he can get close to BKR without really any suspicions and the corporate office hasn't approved Earth.
This book is quite familiar to me and should be to anyone who remembers their childhood stories. Here there isn't much heart, except maybe a pinch till the end that actually caught me off guard, and maybe not much explained science behind growth and shrink, but there is a very good way of communication that allows different languages spoken and relayed to understanding; you'll understand when you read the book and I think it was very impressive that Bruce Coville made that up in 1993. It is kind of like Google Translate meets FaceTime. Plus, I don't really have many complaints about this sort of stuff because it's a kids movie and I don't know if a giant explanation of science would've really mattered. I was kind of hoping for more at the end, like some extra encounters and a giant enhancement of the volcano that could've really shown off alien technology and wowed the crowd but ends up quite ordinary. Also, Rod has a friend named Mickey, in which his presence made me hope for a slight friendship element that disappears in the second act, so Mickey isn't important. But what makes this book far above average are the aliens. And the aliens couldn't have been that good without the pictures. Thank God for the pictures. They're expertly drawn and show off the aliens in a surprisingly loveable way. There's Madame Pong, Grekker, as I said, Snout, Tar Gibbons, Phil, um, Plinkly, and by the end, unless you've read a lot of alien books already, I think by the end, you'll wish you had an alien family of your own.
What we basically have here is some time off from big science fiction blowouts and a cutesy adventure that someone like me can read in two days and kids can treasure forever. If you liked this book, go watch Aliens in the Attic. And ask me to join you.