Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

Image from

Disney Hyperion Books, 2007.


Rex’s book is smart and savvy. Tip is a hilariously observant narrator and J. Lo is sidekick, bumbling misfit, and alien rolled into one. The story tackles big issues, such as immigration and colonization, with razor sharp humor. Rex’s illustrations are used to show the pictures Tip takes with her camera, as well as the comic book-like explanations of Boovish history created by J. Lo. This is a science fiction book that will appeal to kids and adults. By creating an outrageous scenario Rex is able to simultaneously make fun of and expose the hypocrisy of humanity, all the while making readers laugh out loud. The graphic novel-y appearance of some of the pages is a good way to draw in reluctant readers.

Read an excerpt of the book to get an idea of Rex’s hilarious sense of humor or listen to Bahni Turpin read the opening chapter from the audiobook version. 

*What if you had to explain human objects to an alien? Have kids write a paragraph or give an oral presentation describing an object for an alien. Encourage the use of all five senses.

*Use this book as jumping off point to talk about immigration, colonization, and relocation.

*Check out the Smek Day website for extras written and illustrated by Adam Rex.

Boom by Mark Haddon
Holes by Louis Sacher
Peter and the Star Catchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

*Other middle grade/teen books by Adam Rex:
            Cold Cereal
            Fat Vampire
Age 9+ / Grade 4+



  1. This is one of our favorite holiday handsells at Left Bank!

    Did you hear they are making a film version? With Rihanna and Jim Parsons as the leads. I'm not looking forward to that.

    1. This is one of my favorite books of all time. It makes me laugh every time I read it!

      I did hear about the movie. I really hope that if it's horrible it'll fade away, like other bad book-to-movie versions.