HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: My Trip to Alpha I
Author: Alfred Slote
Illustrator: Harold Berson
Publisher: Harper Trophy, republished 1992
ISBN-13: 978-0812446197 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0812446194 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0440847342 Paperback
ISBN-10: 0440847346 Paperback
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 7-10
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Slote, Alfred. My Trip to Alpha I (Published in 1978 and republished in 1986 by Harper Trophy, a trademark of HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, 10 E. 53rd, New York City, NY 10022). Eleven year old Jack Stephenson lives with his dad, mom, and older sister Jan, thirteen, in New Jersey on planet Earth. His wealthy Aunt Katherine DeVanter lives in a huge ranch house near Nottingham City on Alpha 1, six million light years away, where she owns a huge mining operation left to her by her late husband, Jack’s Uncle Rudolph. Jack doesn’t want to go to Alpha I because he’s captain of the sixth grade basketball team. But Aunt Katherine has specifically asked for him to come and help her pack up to return to Earth. And she’s even paid for him to go by voya-code, a new way of travelling which involves implanting a person’s computer code in a dummy at the intended destination while the real body is asleep at the place of origin, and thus it takes only a few seconds.
When Jack gets to Alpha, all his aunt can talk about are Alpha natives Frank and Ruth Arbo, her servants, to whom she is leaving her entire estate. To his surprise, Jack learns that he is there to witness the signing of the transfer document. However, something doesn’t seem right. Why is Aunt Katherine acting so strangely? What’s really going on? And can Jack do anything about it all by himself? This Book 2 of 5 in the “Robot Buddy Series” is science fiction for the intermediate grades. There are a couple of euphemisms (darndest, gee), but the story is fairly straight forward and lots of fun, since the future world presented is interesting and will capture kid’s imagination. It is short, and with the element of mystery will especially appeal to youngsters just beginning to read chapter books.