Monday, April 20, 2015

MMGM- Gabby Duran and the Unsittables

Allen, Elise and Conners, Daryle. Gabby Duran and the Unsittables
May 12th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Copy provided by the publisher

Gabby is such a good babysitter that movie stars will fly her to Florida to watch their children, so it's no surprise when the mysterious Edwina shows up and offers Gabby an out-of-this-world babysitting opportunity... literally. Edwina is part of the Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings as Neighbors and needs someone who can babysit the children of visiting aliens. When Gabby does well with Philip, who is a giant, gelationous blob who just wants to be loved and played with, Edwina promises to keep in touch and line up other jobs for her. This is important to Gabby, because her mother is struggling to make ends with Gabby and her sister after the death of her father in the military when Gabby was quite young. Gabby plays the French horn, and would like to attend a good music school if her family could afford it, and she sees working for A.L.I.E.N. as her ticket to this life. When Edwina next materializes, she has Wutt, an alien princess, for Gabby to watch. The downside? Wutt is being targeted by an anti-alien group, and if anything happens to Wutt, her family might vaporize the Earth. No pressure, especially since Gabby has school as well as a concert to attend while tending to Wutt. Complications ensue when a substitute teacher seems to surmise Gabby's secret, and Wutt's safety is imperiled at every turn. Can Gabby keep herself and Wutt safe and be prepared for the French horn solo in the concert?
Strengths: This takes interests that many middle grade students have-- making money and babysitting-- and puts a humorous, frenetic twist on it. Gabby truly believes that no child, even an alien one, is "unsittable", and her techniques are admirable. The characters, from geeky sister to harried best friend to turn-coat school custodian, are multi-faceted and engaging. The action is nonstop, and there are great details (like Wutt turning into a goofy looking hat to evade detection) that will make this appealing to middle grade readers.
Weaknesses: Sometimes that action got a bit too goofy and over-the-top for me. Gabby's mother's brief appearance was hectic, and the confusion between the words "what" and "Wutt" reminded me of the Abbott and Costello "Who's On First" routine, but younger readers won't be familiar with that and will find the pacing to be perfect. (Remember, I adore Anne of Green Gables, and my students think it is WAY too slow!)

Here's a giveaway, and apparently my library gets one from Disney, too! Whee! Didn't realize, but must mention this per FTC guidelines!

Need a copy for your own?
OUT OF THIS WORLD prize pack
One (1) winner receives:
·         a copy of Gabby Duran and the Unsittables
·         branded Tumbler and UFO light-up flyer.

Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Disney Hyperion.

Leave a comment below about your WORST babysitting gig to be entered to win!

About the Book:
Case File: The First Unsittable

Summary: The Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings (hereby known as A.L.I.E.N.) has a new member. After months of investigation, Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, has proven herself to be a babysitter extraordinaire. Her celebrity clients fly her around the country to care for their rambunctious little humans. Our spy, Associate 4118-23432B, otherwise known as Edwina, believes Gabby can be trusted with the truth: aliens are living among humans on Earth. And here at A.L.I.E.N we believe that even extraterrestrials need a babysitter now and then. No one was up to the task...until now.

After accepting the top-secret position, Edwina has paired our new associate up with her first charge, a little girl from the planet Flarknartia. The timing for associate 4118-25125A is less than ideal. It's a school day on Planet Earth, Gabby's audition for the solo part in the band is tonight, and this tiny alien is a bit more than meets the eye. 

Can Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, First Sitter to the Unsittables, keep her otherworldly charge safe in the unpredictable halls of middle-school and keep A.L.I.E.N hidden?

About the Authors:
Emmy-nominated writer and New York Times best-selling author Elise Allen made a name for herself with her acclaimed young adult novel Populazzi (Harcourt), and the Jim Henson's Enchanted Sisters chapter books (Bloomsbury).  In television, she has written for talent ranging from Bill Cosby to Kermit the Frog, and is currently writing for the new Disney Junior showThe Lion Guard. Her dog may or may not secretly be from another planet.

Daryle Conners is an award-winning writer, filmmaker and video game designer. She writes joke and riddle books and has designed many game titles for the PC and iPhone/iPad including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Scene It? Harry Potter, Hot Wheels Slot Car Racers, and Scene It? Twilight Saga. Her non-fiction books include Lunchtime LOLZ, Nintendo DS Hot Tips, ROFLs,Video Game Secrets and Monster High Jokes, all for Scholastic. Daryle lives in Seattle, where she still babysits from time to time.


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It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.


  1. Great concept. Even I babysat neighbor kids as a teen. One of the worst was a three hour 7-10 pm job. With kids in bed at 9 I fell asleep on the couch. Woke up five hours later to a very quiet house. The parents were gone, or so I thought. Yes, they'd come back at the appointed time, called my parents, and both decided to let me continue my dreaming.

  2. Sarah Hall6:07 PM EDT

    My worst babysitting job was when I had five kids to take care of for the day. One of them disappeared so we searched the house, yard and barn but no kid. Finally after I had totally freaked out, the girl came crawling out from under a bed. She was just playing a trick but I about had a heart attack.

  3. My worst babysitting job was for my wild neighbors kids.