A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Amid pop culture references, Buddy learns more "human" things: to navigate a completely new home, trust new friends, and try to figure out a new life.
Buddy sees right away that people are good and will help each other without expecting anything in return.
Positive Role Models
Cassidy's mom is overbearing but helpful, and the adults and other actors are genuinely kind to Buddy and each other.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Alien Superstar, by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, uses humor and intergalactic stories to convey a simple message: Despite our outer differences, we're all the same inside. With a fast-moving plot and tons of engaging illustrations Buddy C. Burger navigates Hollywood, a place almost as alien as his home planet. Despite trouble figuring out what's real and what's a costume -- and funny flubs when he tries to learn casual conversation -- Buddy discovers his new home is filled with goodhearted friends and the occasional arrogant teen heartthrob. His new friend Cassidy's mom is obsessed with her daughter's career and weight management, and there's a nice message about what's healthy for body and mind.
Is It Any Good?
This funny culture-clash story is formulaic but delightful, filled with fun characters, vivid detail, and illustrations that jump off the page. Alien Superstar is fast-paced, with vocabulary that engages more advanced readers while remaining easily accessible to those who struggle to read longer books. Buddy's misunderstanding of common phrases (such as "break a leg" and "live studio audience") turns into a steady stream of jokes for young readers, and Buddy's instant friendship with Cassidy gives the story warmth. Authors Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver even manage to get a Happy Days reference in there -- a nod to the parents who might be reading along.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.