Game On!

Holiday House. (Star Striker: Bk. 1). Sept. 2021. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823449118.
Gr 4-7–Though seventh grader Albert Kinney doesn’t make the school soccer team, he’s chosen for a far more high stakes competition: The Alien Zeenods have selected him to play Johka. To regain control of their planet from the invading Tev, the Zeenods want to win the intergalactic Johka tournament and raise awareness of their suffering. Albert is just what they need to win. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to see him succeed. A jaded Zeenod tries to stop Albert, but a loving dog will do everything he can to protect the boy. This first book in a forthcoming intergalactic sports series will surely please science fiction readers. The writing is descriptive and elaborate without being burdensome. The characters are relatable and well developed with relationship issues and familiar family dynamics. While the ending is triumphant, it is also a bit predictable. Sci-fi fans will probably overlook that flaw and enjoy a solid alien story that doesn’t strive to be overly comical or adventurous.
VERDICT A solid choice for libraries looking to expand their intergalactic science fiction collections.

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