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Crescent Blues Book ViewsLlewellyn Publications (Trade Paperback), ISBN 0-7387-0579-9

Almost sixth-grader Cassie Strange is the only member of the Strange (yes, that's her name) family who isn't strange. Her father hosts the cable show I Don't Believe It! Her mother wears odd clothing, like a grass skirt with worms. Her overly dramatic brother Lucas keeps constantly in medieval character. Her little sister Amber communicates with animals and always steals center stage.

Book: linda joyo singleton, oh no ufo

Fed-up, Cassie hopes for a regular family where she won't feel out of place or under-appreciated. Just when she thinks her prayers will never be answered, her father plans a family camping trip. Finally, something normal!

But Cassie soon realizes the camping trip serves as a smoke screen for something else. At night, her father acts even stranger than usual -- slipping away into the darkness. Also, Amber no longer acts like Amber. Even Amber's duck, Dribble, avoids Amber at all costs. Cassie tells her family that aliens in a banana-shaped space ship abducted the real Amber, but no one believes her. Finally, Cassie gets her chance to develop her special talent -- a knack for investigating mysteries. But will Cassie solve her family's dilemma before it's too late?

This first book in Linda Joy Singleton's middle grade "Strange Encounters" series provides an easy, fast-paced and intriguing read. This encounter of the alien kind proves lots of fun! A main character that readers will easily identify with, as well as a well-drawn plot, will keep readers hooked until the very end -- and eager for Cassie's next mystery.

Lynne Marie Pisano

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