The True Meaning of Smekday

The True Meaning of Smekday

Book - 2007
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When her mother is abducted by aliens on Christmas Eve (or "Smekday" Eve since the Boov invasion), 11 year-old Tip hops in the family car and heads south to find her and meets an alien Boov mechanic who agrees to help her and save the planet from disaster.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion Books for Children, ©2007
ISBN: 9780786849000
Branch Call Number: REX
Characteristics: 423 p. : ill. ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

"you really cannot go wrong with this quirky, irreverent, giddy romp of a book" - T. Thomas

Fantastic and fun!

SurreyLibraries_Reads Oct 26, 2018

What happens when aliens arrive and claim ownership of Earth? After her mother is kidnapped by the alien Boov, eleven-year-old Gratuity decides to drive to the humans’ relocation area in Florida, by herself along with her cat, Pig. Along the way, she meets a Boov named J-Lo, who turns her car int... Read More »

From the critics

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IndyPL_SteveB Oct 01, 2019

This is a very funny story of bungled alien invasion, with a human girl and an alien Boov in a road trip comedy. Lots of wit, as the author looks at the American human culture, and a collection of goofy characters. One of my very favorite books of SF humor. Funnier and deeper than the movie. It really should be on your reading list.

Mar 26, 2019

To the many fans who have loved the book - I highly recommend you also check out the audiobook/CD version. It is read by Bahni Turpin, an actress who has appeared in many tv shows over the years, and her hilarious interpretation of "J-Lo" is the best audiobook performance I've heard. Expect to hear your kids speaking in J-Lo's voice for months afterward...and I'm pretty sure some of J-Lo's catchphrases ("er...WHAT now?" comes easily to mind) will pop up in your own day-to-day conversation as well.

What happens when aliens arrive and claim ownership of Earth? After her mother is kidnapped by the alien Boov, eleven-year-old Gratuity decides to drive to the humans’ relocation area in Florida, by herself along with her cat, Pig. Along the way, she meets a Boov named J-Lo, who turns her car into a hovering vehicle. Things get even weirder when another alien race comes along. I read this book alone the first time, then to my family over the summer holidays. I was reading it aloud on one of the BC Ferries when a stranger came up and asked about the book. Fantastic and fun! (submitted by SB)

JCLJohnK Oct 06, 2018

This book was recommended to be me because it's hilarious. It's hilarious in the same vein as Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Jon Scieszka. Everyone who made that comparison is correct. But that's not why I love this book. I love this book because the main character is one of the most compelling and delightful I've encountered in a long time. I love this book because of core relationship that drives it is an utter delight. I love this book because the story is fantastic. It's also silly and laugh out loud funny.

Aug 16, 2017

My son and I loved this book. The movie was really silly compared to the book. As usual, the book was so much better.

Apr 26, 2017

I thought this book was an extremely funny, original and also touching take on the post alien invasion apocalypse theme. Not many books make me laugh out loud and get tears in my eyes but this one did both!

ArapahoeStaff1 Feb 16, 2017

As the original story behind the movie, "Home," this science fiction story of the friendship between Tip and an alien is hilarious, compassionate, and true to what we've seen in the movie, but with more explanation and an engaging plot line. I was absolutely satisfied with this story, and though we see the movie was not made completely true to the original story, it was fun to make the connection from book to movie! If you loved the movie, it's time to go back to what came first.

Aug 16, 2016

This book is absolutely hilarious, and I love J. Lo's character. The author gave a very interesting style that made you really feel the book.

FindingJane Dec 04, 2015

The Boov are under the impression that humans are a foolish, child-like, inferior race, one that needs their gentle, loving hands to take guide and care of them. Most of them don’t learn differently…but one Boov is about to get an education.

In this viewpoint on what an alien invasion would be like, the author takes us into the mind of one determined Gratuity “Tip” Tucci, an 11-year-old girl separated from her mother by the hated Boov and willing to cross the entire state to get her back. The book is many things: a journal, essay, comedy, social commentary and adventure story, et al. The social commentary comes from the uncomfortable notion of what happens when alien beings treat us the way we’ve often treated aboriginal natives of countries that we’ve conquered. All our wrongful deeds are held up as in a brightly polished mirror—the renaming of holidays and homes, the relocation of the natives, the sudden poverty induced by said relocation and the substitution of inferior food for the excellent fare we once prepared for ourselves. It makes you squirm to read it with its dead-on portrayal of what happens when the shoe is forcibly placed on the other foot.

But the book remains for the most part rather light hearted in spirit, the fun coming in liberal doses between its liberal message. The author avoids moralizing and preaching, except on the part of people we’re clearly meant not to take seriously. The heart of the book is the growing fondness between Tip and her alien companion as each learns from the other and both unite to face a common threat. This novel enlivens the spirit as gleeful fun and sobering treatise. Hurrah for Smekday!

mvkramer Oct 15, 2015

Hilarious! I loved this fast-moving tale of a girl just trying to get through an alien invasion and find her mom. Gratuity is an excellent character, resourceful, clever and funny - and I loved J. Lo the Boov! Give yourself a treat and listen to the audiobook version - the reader is excellent.

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Add a Quote
Jul 13, 2013

"This seems like an awful lot of trouble for one flat tire," I said.
The Boov stuck out his head.
"Flat tire?"
I stared back blankly for a second, then walked around to the other side. The tire was still flat.
"The car, it should to hover much better now!" he called happily.
"Hover?" I answered. "Hover better? It didn't hover at all before!"
"Hm," the Boov said, looking down. "So this is why the wheels are so dirty."

Jul 13, 2013

"You don't even have a gun!"
"Yes! YES!" he shouted, nodding furiously, as though I'd somehow proven his point. "NO GUN! So I will have to ... have to ..." His whole body trembled. "... SHOOT FORTH THE LASERS FROM MY EYE-BALLS!"
I fell into a row of shelves. That one was new to me.
"Shoot forth the lasers?"
"you can do that?"
The Boov hesitated. His eyes quivered. After a few seconds he replied, "Yes."
I squinted. "Well, if you shoot your eye lasers, then I'll have no choice but to ... EXPLODE YOUR HEAD!"
"You humans can not to ex-"
"We can! We can too! We just don't much. It's considered rude."

Jul 06, 2013

It was Moving Day. Should that be capitalized? I never would have capitalized it before, but now Moving Day is a national holiday and everything, so I think it should be. Capitalized.

Jul 06, 2013

Tucci's essay, entitled "The True Meaning of Smekday," was only one of many items in the unearthed time capsule, including a lock of Daniel Landry's hair and a recording of DJ Max Dare's single "Hit the Road, Smek (Moove, Boov! Mix)."

Jun 27, 2011

Can I come into the out now?

Jun 27, 2011

Regarding stickyfish teams, I favor the Bigfield Fighting Koobish

Jun 27, 2011

We found the bathrooms, which were labeled 'Aliens' and 'Femaliens.'
'Finally,' I said to J.Lo. 'Here's a bathroom you're allowed to use.

Jun 27, 2011

You have no room to laugh, that's all. I'm not doing any worse with Boovish than you did with English.'
Get off of the car,' J.Lo huffed. 'I am an English superstar.'
Uh-uh. There's no comparison. 'Gratuity' in written Boovish has seventeen different bubbles that all have to be the right size and in the right place. 'J.Lo' in written English only has three letters, and you still spelled it 'M-smiley face-pound sign.

Jun 27, 2011

Is there a short-eared koobish, then?'
Mmmyes ...' said J.Lo. 'But it is technically not really a koobish. Is more alike a kind of singing pumpkin.'
We had conversations like these all the time, where I just eventually gave up.

Jun 27, 2011

Wherefor are you knowing it? If you stacked all of the Gorg in the galaxy on top of eachother, the Gorg would kill you.

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green_alligator_14039 thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

Jul 13, 2013

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Jul 09, 2013

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Nov 30, 2012

mrguido45 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

May 29, 2011

Yellow_Pig_7 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 13

VeganGreen Oct 14, 2009

VeganGreen thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12


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Jul 06, 2013

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


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