It came from the sky A novel

Chelsea Sedoti

Book - 2020

Gideon and Ishmael Hofstadt, ages sixteen and seventeen, accidentally start a hoax that aliens have landed, turning their town of Lansburg, Pennsylvania, into a circus. Told through narrative, police interviews, text messages, blog posts, and more.--

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Subjects
Genres
Humorous fiction
Published
Naperville, IL : Sourcebooks Fire [2020]
Language
English
Physical Description
504 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Audience
Ages 14-18.
Grades 10-12.
ISBN
9781492673026
1492673021
Main Author
Chelsea Sedoti (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Sixteen-year-old Gideon is a serious student with a grand plan, which includes MIT and NASA. Yet he worries that none of his experiments are groundbreaking enough to stand out. Enter Ishmael, Gideon's prank-loving older brother. Thanks to Ishmael, Gideon's controlled explosion to test his homemade seismograph leaves a crater in the family farm. Gideon blames a meteorite, but Ishmael embellishes until it becomes a UFO, and soon everyone in Lansburg, PA, has seen aliens. When the town is overrun with ufologists and reporters, Gideon decides to control the hoax, thereby creating a sociological experiment worthy of MIT. A snake oil salesman peddling an alien immortality elixir turns his harmless prank into a dangerous con. Gideon narrates this quirky, intelligent novel like a report, with data: texts, articles, interview transcripts. His deadpan humor and emotional insecurity offset some unlikability as he rigidly pursues his ideal future, leading him to neglect his kind boyfriend and supportive friends. Big questions of morality, cosmic insignificance, and human connection ground this novel even as it ponders the stars. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

It is clear from the start that this clever tale by Sedoti (As You Wish) isn't about alien encounters but rather about a hoax perpetrated by Gideon Hofstadt, 16, with the help of his brother, 17-year-old Ishmael, in Lansburg, Pa. After Gideon breaks his rule against letting Ishmael help with science experiments, the resulting explosion necessitates that the siblings come up with an excuse for the crater on their parents' farm. After storyteller Ishmael ramps their original excuse into an alien encounter, the two continue the story, Gideon as a sociological experiment to help him get into MIT, Ishmael as an epic senior prank. Things quickly spiral out of control, however, with the arrival of UFO hunters and CEO J. Quincy Oswald, a combination con man and cult leader who claims to have had his own alien encounters. Meanwhile, insecure introvert Gideon is convinced that his relationship with popular Owen Campbell is doomed to failure, and is therefore reluctant to make things public. As the hoax snowballs, then unravels, it complicates Gideon's relationship with Owen, his friends, and his family. Sedoti will draw readers in with the outrageous situation and the town's amusing aspects, such as a 63-foot lava lamp, but she truly excels with Gideon—a unique character whose desire for recognition and achievement is universal. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary. (Aug.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Gideon and Ishmael Hofstadt, ages sixteen and seventeen, accidentally start a hoax that aliens have landed, turning their town of Lansburg, Pennsylvania, into a circus. Told through narrative, police interviews, text messages, blog posts, and more.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

From bestselling author Chelsea Sedoti comes the unforgettable story of the one small town's biggest hoax and the two brothers who started it all, perfect for readers who want funny books for teens.This is the absolutely true account of how Lansburg, Pennsylvania was invaded by aliens and the weeks of chaos that followed. There were sightings of UFOs, close encounters, and even abductions. There were believers, Truth Seekers, and, above all, people who looked to the sky and hoped for more. Only...there were no aliens.Gideon Hofstadt knows what really happened. When one of his science experiments went wrong, he and his older brother blamed the resulting explosion on extraterrestrial activity. And their lie was not only believed by their town—it was embraced. As the brothers go to increasingly greater lengths to keep up the ruse and avoid getting caught, the hoax flourishes. But Gideon's obsession with their tale threatens his whole world. Can he find a way to banish the aliens before Lansburg, and his life, are changed forever?Told in a unique report format and comprised of interviews, blog posts, text conversations, found documents, and so much more, It Came from the Sky is a hysterical and resonant novel about what it means to be human in the face of the unknown.A great pick for readers looking for:funny, quirky, and wholly original stories that will stick with youbooks for teen boysalien invasion fictionconversation starters about the meaning of facts and truthteen books for boys ages 13-16gifts for teen girls 16-18Praise for It Came from the Sky:"A page-turner as engrossing as any classic Twilight Zone starring two spirited brothers who run circles around the Hardy Boys."—Ben Philippe, Morris Award-winning author of The Field Guide to the North American Teenager "Well written...Believable characters facing realistic teenage issues coupled with a thematic exploration of wishes, fears, and principles of honesty and ethics will help to keep readers' attention."—School Library Connection "A balanced exploration of maturity, vulnerability, human connection, and our innate desire to believe."—Kirkus Reviews "Sedoti will draw readers in with the outrageous situation and the town's amusing aspects, such as a 63-foot lava lamp, but she truly excels with Gideon-a unique character whose desire for recognition and achievement is universal."—Publishers Weekly "[A] quirky, intelligent novel ... Big questions of morality, cosmic insignificance, and human connection ground this novel even as it ponders the stars."—BooklistAlso by Chelsea Sedoti:The Hundred Lies of Lizzie LovettAs You Wish