I really liked the book Aliens on Vacation by Clete Smith. I thought it was a cute story that could entice both male and female middle grades readers.
The summary via Goodreads
David, otherwise known as Scrub (don't ask), isn't happy about leaving Florida and his friends to summer with his grandmother in "Middle of Nowhere," Washington. When he arrives at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he isn't surprised by its 60s meets Star Wars decor, but he issurprised by the weird-looking guests. It turns out that each room in the inn is a portal, and his grandma is the gate-keeper, allowing aliens to vacation on Earth. Grandma desperately needs Scrub's help with welcoming (and disguising) the tourists, shopping for cartloads of aluminum foil for dinner, and taking rambunctious alien kids camping in the nearby woods. The problem is, the town sheriff--already suspicious about Granny--is a scout leader camping in the same spot. Will Scrub blow Granny's cover, forcing the B&B to shut down forever? Full of cosmic chaos and mind-bending mayhem, Scrub's summer adventure will leave readers wanting to make a return trip.
I thought that the story itself was cute, in that Scrub (David) has to go stay with his weirdo Grandma in the wilds of Washington state for the summer and help out at her Bed and Breakfast, instead of hang out by the pool and go to basketball camps like his friends. What Scrub doesn't know is that the B&B is an intergalactic vacation hotspot for aliens.
I did figure that the main problem of the story would be that someone sees one of the visitors, but I really liked Scrub's resourceful way of solving it. I was surprised at the very end when the intergalactic police force showed up. I did not figure that problem/solution into the story, but appreciate that Smith tied up all the loose ends, as it really bugs me when authors just leave little situations hanging.
On goodreads.com, I rated this a 4 out of 5 as I could see the appeal to all middle grades readers. It was cute, it was funny, it was relatable to them.
I was able to read and review this book thanks to Netgalley and Disney Hyperion. I downloaded it for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.