Galaxy's Most Wanted, Book 1

Common Sense Media says

Summer camp gets alien visitors in silly, fun adventure.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Some fancy, highfalutin science terminology and concepts, but most of the "science" is made up -- really, it's science fiction. For what could be called an early reader book, the language is fairly sophisticated in places.

Positive messages

Be loyal to your friends. Think creatively. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to achieve big things.

Positive role models

Our heroes are loyal to one another and committed to helping each other and protecting their new alien acquaintance. However, they're not beyond fibbing and subterfuge to achieve their ends.

Violence & scariness

Some zapping space ray guns are used, but there's no evidence of anyone actually getting hurt. The human kids are menaced by a gross alien creature.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Galaxy's Most Wanted, by John Kloepfer (of the Zombie Chasers series), ​is a fun, easy-to-read, heavily illustrated middle-grade series start. It's about a group of kids at a science and technology summer camp who, in their zeal to win the camp's prestigious Invention Convention contest, unwittingly attract a small, fuzzy, four-eyed, multi-armed alien named Mim to a nearby wooded lake. Mim seems friendly and even speaks English, but it turns out he isn't all that he seems. The book is written in a style sure to appeal to younger readers, with dollops of kid lingo, lots of amusing fake science, and a requisite amount of very mild gross-out humor (such as an alien beast sneezing mucus on a kid). The story ends on a cliffhanger, enticing readers to return for the planned sequel. 

What's the story?

When Kevin Brewer and his friends at a summer science camp in the woods of Oregon devise an invention to contact aliens -- based on a sci-fi comic book they'd read -- their efforts succeed beyond their wildest expectations. A multi-eyed, multi-armed fuzz-ball extraterrestrial named Mim crashes his small spaceship into a lake near the camp and immediately befriends Kevin and his pals. They're intent on keeping Mim hidden until they can reveal that their alien-contact machine worked and win the camp's prestigious Invention Convention prize. Can the campers keep Mim hidden from the other campers? Will they win the prize? Strange things begin to happen, and suddenly the kids -- and our planet! -- are faced with unimaginable peril. The kids must unite with their fellow campers and counselors in a fight for humankind.

Is it any good?


GALAXY'S MOST WANTED is a zippy, engaging adventure that should appeal equally to boys and girls looking for some silly reading fun. Author John Kloepfer has a good ear for kids' language and attitude, and the abundant black-and-white cartoon illustrations throughout will doubtless hook some reluctant readers.

The plot is completely crazy, but the story's well-told and involving. And the occasional gross-out humor will provoke giggles, such as when an alien beast sneezes, "sending extraterrestrial snot everywhere. TJ stood there covered in slimy mucus." The one real disappointment: The story does not fully conclude but ends on a cliff-hanger. A few pages later, a full page announces, "The Action continues in Galaxy's Most Wanted," and teases the plot of the sequel (Into the Dorkness).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about inventions. What kind of invention would you like to make, if you could?

  • What are some of your other favorite books or movies about aliens? Why are alien stories so popular? 

  • What would you do if you and your friends found an extraterrestrial being?

Book details

Author:John Kloepfer
Illustrator:Nick Edwards
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Robots, Science and nature, Space and aliens
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:July 22, 2014
Number of pages:244
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of Galaxy's Most Wanted, Book 1 was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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