Zoonauts: The Secret of Animalville

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9780971949669: Zoonauts: The Secret of Animalville

A young girl's tribulations at home and school are at the center of this fantastical tale. At first glance, Jen's troubles are typical of any eighth grader: teacher trouble, a know-it-all younger brother, and a gloomy conviction that her family is nothing like those of her friends. But her secret is deeper than anyone can imagine. Jen and her brother Cody are being raised by a group of super-intelligent animals who watch over them and teach them things no other humans know. When Jen's English teacher refuses to accept her unusual family story as the truth, Jen confides in her best friend Sara about the crisis brewing at Animalville. The inhabitants of earth are threatened by an alien invasion, and only cooperation among all the sentient creatures on the planet can prevent it. Themes of animal rights, ecology, and space exploration are woven into this suspenseful story of Jen's race against time to save the world from disaster.

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About the Author:

Richard Mueller is the author of Time Machine 24 and Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular, which sold 150,000 copies. He has also written scripts for Milo's Great Adventure, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Robocop, X-Men, Land of the Lost, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and Married . . . with Children. He lives in Los Angeles. Egidio Victor Dal Chele is known for his artwork in God, the Devil and Bob, Scooby Doo and the Alien Invaders, All Dogs Christmas, He-Man & the Masters of the Universe, Fat Albert, and Shazam. He lives in Los Angeles.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-In a saga reminiscent of the Men in Black films, middle school students Jen, Cody, and Sara become involved in a secret war between Earth and the evil alien empire of Amador. They discover that Earth's first line of defense against the space invaders is a group of super-intelligent, super-powered animals based in a converted Wild West Texas theme park and learn that these creatures were originally experimental space subjects that encountered the Amadorian forces while they were in flight. The alien scientists augmented their abilities so they could be used as advance invasion troops. However, the animals chose instead to defend their home planet and contacted NASA and the military. Now, they need the young humans to join the battle. Actual historical events and real people are woven into the narrative. Al Gore, for example, has apparently long been a supporter of the animal corps, but George Bush has resented them ever since he was denied permission to tour Animalville while he was governor. However, Mueller goes over the top when Methuselah, a parrot and principal narrator, implies that the Amadorians may have engineered the Columbia space shuttle explosion. The plot bounces back and forth between lengthy historical exposition and present-day action and the transitions are often jarring. Many plot threads are left unresolved, to be continued in future volumes. Illustrated with black-and-white, comic-book-style cartoons, this is an odd and uneasy melding of history, space science, and fantasy.
Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Richard Mueller, David Simons, Sheldon Lee Gosline, Egidio Victor Dal Chele (Illustrator)
Published by Shangri La Pubns Ltd (2003)
ISBN 10: 0971949662 ISBN 13: 9780971949669
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Mueller, Richard
Published by Shangri-La Publications (2003)
ISBN 10: 0971949662 ISBN 13: 9780971949669
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