Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn
Greg Leitich Smith
pictures by Andrew Arnold
Aidan lives in a hotel that his parents own. It is not your typical Holiday Inn. No, Aidan’s hotel is the Mercury Inn and they are located on the Space Coast in Florida. Which means that they can watch NASA shuttle launches from the hotel’s beach. And of course they play up the whole UFO type of thing as well. So those that love anything to do with space come to the Mercury Inn. In fact, even Aidan’s best friend, Louis, is totally obsessed with UFOs. Louis is sure that he saw a UFO a couple of years ago. So when things get a little strange around the time of a scheduled (and cancelled and scheduled and cancelled) shuttle launch, people start swarming to the Mercury Inn where Aidan finds himself believing in a few out-of-this-world coincidences.
This is a fun book that those who are interested in Science Fiction will enjoy. Aidan and Louis and Dur (one of the hotel guests Aidan and Louis’ age) are fun characters that kids will enjoy. Plus there are aliens. And spaceships. And a media frenzy where everyone wants to know all about anything and everything alien. There are also some fun illustrations scattered around the text. This is great seeing how those that are the right age for this story will still enjoy having an illustration or two. And even though books with aliens often have a lot of crazy alien things/culture to explain, this book explains everything in such a clear way that readers will totally go along with Aidan and Louis as they learn all sorts of extraterrestrial things. A fun book for the budding science fiction fans.
Book Discussion Questions:
Louis is very into UFOs. If your friend was into something as unbelievable as UFOs what would you do?
Dru tells Aidan a huge secret about herself and then asks Aidan not to tell Louis. Would you have kept the secret? Would you have told Louis? Why or why not?
Have you ever had a huge secret you needed to keep? What did you do about it?
How can you tell that you can trust someone? What characters does Aidan trust? What ones doesn’t he trust? Why?
It seemed like some characters were more interested in fame than in being good or doing the right or kind thing. Why are some people so interested in fame?
Aidan’s parents give him a lot of responsibilities around the Mercury Inn. Is this fair? Why or why not? Would you want those responsibilities? Why? What are some responsibilities you have at your home?
Roaring Brook Press, 2014
AGES: Elementary School