Author David Liss
visits Harmony Hills
November 14th in the afternoon
He's promoting book two of the series ... it's only in hardcover. I will get you a copy of the first book in paperback within the next couple weeks as it would be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO helpful if you could plan to start reading it out loud in October. You don't have to finish the whole thing by his visit but as much as possible would make the experience ever so much more meaningful.
Yes, it is set in space. No, not everyone is a sci-fi fan. BUT even though it's set in space (and has some Star Wars, Star Trek, and Dr. Who references) there are some really fun friendships in the storyline. And adventure! And mystery.
I will have order forms for students once it gets closer. Sort of just telling you now so that you can maybe be thinking ahead and in planning your read alouds leave time for this one. Bluebonnets read alouds are also appreciated but hey, when the author is here it's even higher on the priority list!
Summary and Reviews
From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Sixth-grader Zeke Reynolds is a second generation science fiction geek, so when he gets a top-secret opportunity to spend a year on a space station along with three other Earth kids, he leaps at it. It turns out that his fellow humans are all talented geniuses who shun Zeke for being the "random" pick, but on the space station, Zeke befriends two other young randoms of different species. Together, they set about trying to rack up skill points for themselves and their worlds, while simultaneously uncovering a deadly conspiracy that is undermining the Confederation of United Planets. Zeke may be a geek, but he's no nerd; his readiness with a clever retort or a bon mot makes for a formidable character and an entertaining read. The cliff-hanger ending promises more space shenanigans for Zeke and his friends. VERDICT Fans of science fiction and nonstop action alike will enjoy this smart, light adventure that brims with allusions to a variety of sci-fi movies and TV shows old and new.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
“Funny, wild, possibly deranged, and way too much fun.” (Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Army and Rot & Ruin)
“As fun as a barrel full of tribbles, Randoms is middle-grade space opera at its best. Scary aliens! Cat people! Exploding starships! My inner geek stood up and cheered. Kids who love sci-fi, comics, or gaming will gobble up this fast-paced story, and it will make converts out of the rest.” (Pete Hautman, author of National Book Award Winner Godless)
"What an adventure! Randoms has such a clever concept behind it, and it’s thrilling to ride along as Zeke Reynolds battles enemy aliens (and humans), buddies up with up with aliens (and even, sometimes, humans), and manages again and again to score his own version of victory for underdogs and 'randoms' all across the universe." (Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of the New York Times bestselling series The Shadow Children and The Missing)
"Randoms is an incredibly fun and heartfelt space adventure. With menacing villains and lovable underdogs, this book has so much to offer readers of all ages. I can't wait to read what happens to Zeke and his friends next!" (SJ Kincaid, author of Insignia)
"A smorgasbord of sci-fi geekiness, David Liss's Randoms blends angst, adventure, humor, pathos, space battles, anime, giraffe aliens, and philosophical meanderings on the nature of "humanity" into a plot that twists and tumbles towards a breathless summer-action-flick finale. Be prepared to cheer on the underdogs in this dizzying romp of a novel." (John David Anderson, author of Sidekicked)
“My fellow geeks, rejoice! We have a new hero in the form of the all-nerdy, all-knowing, Zeke. And it is no random chance that his knowledge of pop sci-fi makes him the hippest hero of the galaxy.” (Tony DiTerlizzi, author of The Search for Wondla)
“Like Spider-Man, Zeke has superpowers, but his power is his geekiness. … the aliens feel genuinely—and wonderfully—alien.” (Kirkus Reviews)
"Liss’s characters are engaging, the video-game-like competitions and SF commentary are fun, the sheer plenitude of alien species is fascinating, and the jokes just keep on coming." (Publishers Weekly)
*"First in a series, Randoms is an exhilarating read that will have no trouble hooking sci-fi fans—particularly with its many sf references—and it carries enough fun and excitement to appeal to reluctant readers, in spite of the intimidating page count. With a tip of the hat to geeks everywhere, this novel is a class act." (Booklist, starred review)
"Fans of science fiction and nonstop action alike will enjoy this smart, light adventure that brims with allusions to a variety of sci-fi movies and TV shows old and new." (School Library Journal)
"For readers who get giddy about mentions of obscure episodes of Star Trek or complex descriptions of nanites that allow humans to build up their natural abilities as they gain skill points (complete with a flowchart), this is a comradely treat." (BCCB)
I'd prefer two separate visits (like 1-1:45 and 2-2:45) just so we're not super duper crammed in here and there is more time for questions but with recess and WIN (and benchmarks in the morning) and his exact availability (ie can he get here by 12:30?) we will have to see. When it gets closer I'll know more specifics!