Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in this wild, warm-hearted, and hilarious sci-fi adventure about a brainy young girl who is recruited for a very special boarding school.
Nikola Kross has given up on living in harmony with her classmates and exasperated teachers: she prefers dabbling in experimental chemistry to fitting in. But when her life is axially inverted by a gang of extraterrestrials who kidnap her dad and attempt to recruit her into their service, she discovers he's been keeping a world of secrets from her--including the school for geniuses where she's sent for refuge, a place where classes like Practical Quantum Mechanics are the norm and where students use wormholes to commute to class. For Nikola, the hard part isn't school; it's making friends, especially when the student body isn't (entirely) human. But the most puzzling paradox of all is Nikola herself, who has certain abilities that no one understands--abilities that put her whole school in greater danger than she could have imagined.
Eliot Sappingfield was last seen wearing a blue shirt and khaki pants in the vicinity of his home in Missouri. He is known to appreciate stories, science, and various other geeky things. He may or may not be accompanied by his wife, his two daughters (when they don't have anything better to do), or a goofy basset hound. He is considered unarmed and not terribly dangerous. This is his first novel.
“It’s like Harry Potter, but with science instead of magic. Nikola is exactly the smart female protagonist that the sci-fi genre needs.” —HelloGiggles
*"Absolute outlandishness, an endless parade of jokes (both sly and knee-slapping), incredibly wacky worldbuilding and characters, and a savvy, refreshing irreverence for the genre. Readers will clamor for more. A glorious cacophony of wildly inventive gadgets, gags, and action." --Kirkus Reviews
, starred review
*"An amazing and often hilarious world that feels like a blend of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Harry Potter, but with futuristic inventions rather than magic." --School Library Connection
, starred review
"Sappingfield’s debut is smart, energetic, and original. The writing is light and humorous as it tackles a super-galactic adventure.... Readers will willingly jump with Nikola into the nearest wormhole and next adventure." --School Library Journal
"This adventure is perfect for any sf lover.... Readers will certainly be cheering for Nikola and her friends." --Booklist
"Nikola’s blunt wit makes for entertaining reading in debut author Sappingfield’s frenetic SF comedy. The school’s fantastical elements are inventive and fun, but it’s Nikola’s longing for friends that forms the heart of the story." --Publishers Weekly
"Sappingfield excels at world-building, keeps the action popping, and takes playful potshots at the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Funny, imaginative, and outlandish as it may be, Sappingfield’s novel is also a heartfelt tale of a thirteen-year-old girl navigating friendships for the first time." --The Horn Book Magazine
"Refreshingly original." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Topsy-turvy and wild and fun.” —Brightly