Attack of the Alien Horde by Robert Venditti

Attack of the Alien Horde

byRobert VendittiIllustratorDusty Higgins

Paperback | June 14, 2016

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“Clever and funny with an irresistible premise, this middle grade adventure/comic book hybrid will engage even the most reluctant reader.” —Rick Riordan, author of the worldwide bestselling Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus

What if superheroes were real—and you had to become one? A boy is suddenly thrust into the role of a real-life superhero and tasked with saving Earth from an alien invasion in this action-packed novel from New York Times bestselling author Robert Venditti and award-winning illustrator Dusty Higgins.

When twelve-year-old Miles Taylor unexpectedly inherits a golden cape that gives him amazing superpowers, his life instantly changes: he becomes a superhero. For real. With some help from a new friend named Henry, Miles does his best to protect his city. But his skills and courage are about to be put to the ultimate test—an alien horde is working its way toward Earth, with their sights set on the golden cape…and total domination. Ready or not, Miles is about to discover whether he has what it takes to save all humankind.
Title:Attack of the Alien HordeFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:320 pages, 8.25 X 5.5 X 0.8 inShipping dimensions:320 pages, 8.25 X 5.5 X 0.8 inPublished:June 14, 2016Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1481405551

ISBN - 13:9781481405553

Appropriate for ages: 9

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Read from the Book

Attack of the Alien Horde CHAPTER 1 AS MILES TAYLOR WALKED THE halls between fifth and sixth periods, it suddenly dawned on him that he was having a good day. A good week, even. It’d be an understatement to say the past two months had been rough, but he was starting to think being the new kid at Chapman Middle School wasn’t going to be as bad as he’d feared. Maybe—just maybe—he was going to survive. He approached his locker and slipped his backpack off his shoulders, congratulating himself on his streak of twenty-one consecutive class changes executed without incident, and counting. That’s when he saw the Jammer. In the world of big-time Georgia youth football, Craig “the Jammer” Logg was known as a prodigy. Legend had it that he registered his first tackle at eleven months of age, when he knocked down a toddler at daycare who mistook Craig’s mini Nerf football for a teething ring. Craig had been hitting people ever since. It was his calling. As for Craig’s parents, Coach Lineman, and all the Chapman Raiders faithful, their calling was to chant “Logg Jam! Logg Jam!” every time Craig stuffed a running back charging up the middle. Off the field, Craig’s new favorite pastime was making Miles’s life miserable, and he excelled at that, too. More important, he knew it, and the Jammer wasn’t the sort to let talent go undemonstrated. Miles stopped dead in his tracks, his mind screaming with alarms like a luxury car dealership caught in a baseball rainstorm. The good news was his locker was only a few feet away, whereas Craig was farther down the hallway. The better news was Craig hadn’t noticed Miles yet because he was talking with some of the other kids from the football team. If Miles was quick, he could weave his way through the crowd of loitering students, get to his locker, swap out his books, and head back the way he came without Craig ever knowing he was there. Miles took a deep breath and made his move. 27-9-39, combination lock opened. Did he see me? Miles thought. Backpack unzipped, morning books deposited. Is he coming over here? Afternoon books retrieved, backpack zipped closed. Should I look? Don’t look! Backpack slid onto shoulders, mission completed. Miles wasn’t positive, but he might have set a new record for fastest locker stop. Rushed as he was, he never noticed the paper cup sitting on top of his locker. It was positioned at the edge, so it would tip over the side if the locker door was shut with just the right amount of too hard. Which was exactly what Miles, in his effort to make a clean getaway, did. splash! A torrent of warm Coca-Cola fell on Miles’s head, followed by the hollow sound of the empty cup hitting the terrazzo floor. Consecutive class changes executed without incident: Zero. “There’s where I left my drink!” someone called out. A hushed silence fell over the hallway, and Miles sensed dozens of pairs of eyes watching him. Wishing he could crawl inside his locker, he instead slowly turned around to find Craig towering over him. Craig sported feet the size of bread loaves and a head as hard and large as a football helmet—even when he wasn’t wearing one. In between was a body huge enough to make neither look awkward. Whenever another football mom asked Mrs. Logg if Craig had been a big baby, she’d reply, “Honey, I thought I was going to die.” Craig bent over and picked up the cup. “It was full when I put it up there,” he said. He looked down into the space where sixteen ounces of soda used to be, but now only a few drops remained. “Looks like you owe me a refill.” One of Craig’s teammates chuckled. Miles wasn’t sure which one—it could’ve been any of them, since the only thing that seemed to differentiate them from one another were their jersey numbers. Several other kids joined in, and soon everyone was laughing in unison, as though a Coke falling on someone’s head was the pinnacle of comedy. Soda found its way under Miles’s collar and trickled down his back. Among the gathered students were popular kids, like Craig and his pals, who laughed at Miles because that’s what popular kids do when one of their own pulls a prank. There were regular kids, too, who laughed because it was what the popular kids were doing. Lastly, there were unpopular kids, who laughed out of relief because it could just as easily be any one of them about to spend the rest of their day sticking to their clothes. It was a standard post-prank scene, and Miles took it all in stride. He was used to it. Thanks to the Jammer, he’d been in this position many times before, and he was sure he’d find himself in it again. The only thing that would bother Miles was if he saw . . . Josie Campobasso. Hers didn’t sound like the name of a person, but like the name of a faraway place Miles would only ever see on a map. She was a legend of her own, the girl with chestnut hair and hazel eyes who Miles had heard tales about even at his old school. His first day at Chapman, he spied her at her locker, and Miles knew who she was even before her friend called Josie by name. Georgia just wasn’t big enough to have two girls that beautiful. Josie looked every bit as beautiful now—even surrounded by the pretty, popular girls she was friends with—and Miles wanted nothing more than for her to not see him standing there with soda soaking into his sneakers. But there she was, hair pushed back in a headband, so he could look directly into her clear, bright eyes. A small hummingbird brooch was pinned to her sweater, as if she were letting Miles know that, like a hummingbird, she was always on the wing. Something to gaze upon, but never touch. Josie didn’t laugh with her friends. She didn’t shrug indifferently and walk off, the way girls sometimes do when boys are being boys. No, what she did was much worse: She blushed. Her cheeks bloomed red, as though seeing Miles drenched in Coca-Cola had somehow embarrassed her, or rather made her feel embarrassed on Miles’s behalf. She felt sorry for him. The thought of it brought the red out in Miles’s own face. Not because he was embarrassed or sorry. He was furious. “Well?” Craig sneered. “Pay up.” He wiggled the cup, beckoning Miles to drop the cost of a refill inside. What happened next surprised everyone, most of all Miles. One moment Craig was holding the cup, and the next it was sailing through the air. The hallway fell silent. An unpopular kid wheezed. Craig stared dumbly at his hand, stunned by the cup’s sudden disappearance. Miles could relate. If his palm hadn’t been stinging from slapping the back of Craig’s hand, he would’ve sworn the cup had gone airborne all on its own. “Dude . . .?” one of Craig’s teammates said expectantly. He nodded in Miles’s direction, an invitation for Craig to dispense punishment. Not that the Jammer ever needed an invitation. Craig balled his hands into tight fists. He glared at Miles and growled through gritted teeth. “You little—” “Mis-ter Tay-lor!” a voice boomed, with stern emphasis placed on the first syllable in each word. Assistant Principal Harangue was standing in the middle of the hallway. Mr. Harangue was a squat man not much taller than many of Miles’s fellow seventh graders, but what he lacked in height he made up for in bulk. He was thick and barrel-chested, and Miles had never seen him without his shirtsleeves rolled up. He probably kept them that way even during the dead of winter, Miles guessed, because the dark hair matting his Popeye forearms would keep them warm enough. Mr. Harangue was the kind of guy whose five-o’clock shadow arrived every day at ten a.m. sharp. Miles noticed a splatter of soda on Mr. Harangue’s pressed white shirt and looked down to see the empty cup on the ground at his feet. “Young man, you will deposit that cup in the trash where it belongs,” he bellowed, pointing to a trio of nearby garbage bins. Miles wondered whether the wax-coated cup belonged with the recyclable paper or the general waste, but he didn’t think this was the best time to ask. “Then you will report to my office and sign up for detention.” •  •  • Miles was no stranger to Coach Lineman’s after-school detention. If asked, Coach Lineman would describe Miles as a troublemaker in desperate need of the discipline one acquires only through the dedicated pursuit of organized sports. In his defense, Miles would say that life was like one of Coach’s games, where the referee never sees the player who pushes first but always seems to get his head around in time to throw the flag at the player who pushes back. School hadn’t always been this way for Miles, but it’d been this way since his first day at Chapman Middle. Miles was dealt the hand of being the new kid when his mom fell in with a rich CPA and ran off to start a new life in Hollywood (Florida, that is). Miles’s dad held on to the family home for a few months, but he didn’t earn enough as an electrician to cover the bills, so he and Miles had moved during the summer between sixth and seventh grades. Just like that, the house where Miles had lived since birth was replaced by a cramped, two-bedroom apartm

Editorial Reviews

"[T]his engaging and perfect for reluctant readers. Higgins’s art is a welcome addition and adds to the comic-novel theme...Venditti sets the tone nicely for a series that is sure to be a hit with fans of comic books and action-adventure."