Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ohm vs. Amp by Nate Ball - OPTIONAL

Ball, Nate   Ohm vs. Amp (Alien in My Pocket, book 5)  Illustrated by Macky Pamintuan. 127 pgs. HarperCollins, 2014. $4.99 (paperback). Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G

After a brief summary to catch the reader up on what's been happening in the series so far, a new adventure with Zack and his pocket-sized blue alien friend Amp begins. Their enjoyable evening of watching old scary movies is interrupted when another mini spaceship crashes into Zack's bedroom wall. Worried that this might be the start of an Erdian invasion, his neighbor and friend Olivia starts firing her marshmallow bazooka. Instead, it's Amp's commanding officer coming to discover what happened to their first scout. But Amp's time on Earth with Zack has changed him, and newcomer Ohm doesn't understand. With both spaceships broken, will Zack and Olivia be able to advert an invasion?

Like the rest of the series, this story mixes humor, suspense, science fiction, and real scientific concepts. In this case we read about such things as the point of perigee in the moon's orbit, an atlatl, and simple machines like a lever. Moving quickly from one situation to the next in short chapters, humorous verbal misunderstandings abound, as well as difficulties that would arise if parents didn't know about a miniature alien living in the house. This is not great literature, and the drawings of the humans too often appear scarily upset or raging (though the drawings of the Erdians always delighted me), but the series will get young science fiction fans reading.  The last 15 pages contain additional information and activities related to atlatls. 

EL - OPTIONAL. Reviewed by P.K.Foster, teacher- librarian

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