Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Margot and Mateo Save the World

35097996Miller, Darcy. Margot and Mateo Save the World
July 3rd 2018 by HarperCollins
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Margot is new to West Cover middle school, and her day isn't going well. There is a giant whale decomposing on the beach near her, and a kid on her bus, Mateo, is acting weird. She follows him, and realizes he has something tentacled and slimy clinging to his back. Luckily, she is an Olympic bound wrestler and uses her moves to take Mateo down and get the creature off him. They are soon joined by Calvin, a scientist who is supposed to be giving a talk at school. Calvin has Margot retrieve the creature from the drain, and after some research, they all decide that it is, in fact, an alien. There are others infected, including Coach Jenkins and Mayor Balboa, and the children fear that their fathers might also be infected, since they were both with the conservancy group that met on the beach with the whale, and many others who were there are infected. Since so many important adults in town are in the aliens' thrall, it's up to Margot and Mateo to figure out how to disarm the aliens. Of course, they also have to perform in a school rendition of Romeo and Juliet in the meantime! Once the government comes to help with the issue, there is still the question of where the alien eggs may be hiding. Can Margot and Mateo find them and save the world before it's too late?

Most good middle grade speculative fiction books include tweens saving the world, and it always helps when the adults are the ones they have to be fighting! Bringing in a classmate, Chelsea, who is also infected (but it's not HER fault!) is a nice touch, and the range of adults involved not only makes sense but is amusing. The group of them coming together at a local hotel to install the alien queen in a salt laden swimming pool makes the book reading just for this scene.

Margot is a great character, and I wish we had learned a bit more about her wrestling career! Her father coaches her, and her moves are spectacularly helpful when it comes to taking down alien spawn. She's a little brusque and irritated, but her day HAS been filled with glowing, slimy creatures trying to attach themselves to the back of her neck!

This is filled with lots of laugh-out-loud moments and great one-liners. (Little did I know how fond I am of the phrase "farting around" until Coach Jenkins used it!) Mateo has an obsession with vintage LaCoste shirts, the aliens are beautifully slimy and gross, and the adults who have been infected by the aliens act in unpredictable, and often silly, ways. Fans of Castle's Clone Chronicles, Emerson's The Fellowship for Alien Detection, Kloepfer's Galaxy's Most Wanted and especially Smith's Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn will appreciate this stand alone alien romp.

 I love Darcy Miller's Roll, and this was a lot of fun. I think I will purchase it, but it may take some handselling. The cover is a bit on the elementary side even though the book is not, and comic alien invasion stories are not something for which students ask.

1 comment:

  1. I bet if I put one out on our display that it would go quickly!