Review: Gabby Duran and the Unsittables by Elise Allen

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Title: Gabby Duran and the Unsittables
Author: Elise Allen
Genre: middle grade, sci-fi
Series: none
Pages: 208
Published: May 12th, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating: 3 out of 5

Case File: The First Unsittable

Summary: The Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings (hereby known as A.L.I.E.N.) has a new member. After months of investigation, Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, has proven herself to be a babysitter extraordinaire. Her celebrity clients fly her around the country to care for their rambunctious little humans. Our spy, Associate 4118-23432B, otherwise known as Edwina, believes Gabby can be trusted with the truth: aliens are living among humans on Earth. And here at A.L.I.E.N we believe that even extraterrestrials need a babysitter now and then. No one was up to the task until now.

After accepting the top-secret position, Edwina has paired our new associate up with her first charge, a little girl from the planet Flarknartia. The timing for associate 4118-25125A is less than ideal. It's a school day on Planet Earth, Gabby's audition for the solo part in the band is tonight, and this tiny alien is a bit more than meets the eye.

Can Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, First Sitter to the Unsittables, keep her otherworldly charge safe in the unpredictable halls of middle-school and keep A.L.I.E.N hidden?

A pretty cute and satisfying MG, though not one you can put a lot of thought into.

Gabby Duran is a twelve year old supersitter. She's in demand around the world, flying to movie sets to watch action stars' triplets and such. Since her dad's death in the Army, her mom's catering company isn't quite enough to pay the bills, (which her genius younger sister handles, along with all the books and scheduling for two businesses,) so Gabby's shouldering a lot of responsibility. When a mysterious woman in a black limousine offers her a ten minute sitting job at four times her usual rates, Gabby sees an opportunity to not only help the family, but save for her dream, a prestigious music college.

Edwina introduces Gabby to Philip, his parents, and their talking cat. Despite a rough start, the job is a total success and Gabby is inducted into A.L.I.E.N. as the official Sitter to the Unsittables. Aliens are among us and they really need a date night without their slugspawn.

First, Gabby says her charges have known her since they were infants. They're four. Who is letting eight year olds babysit? Who is letting twelve year olds fly across the country to babysit? The Babysitters Club wouldn't let anyone under eleven in, and then only as junior members who needed supervision. This is ridiculous. Someone call a child labor lawyer STAT.

Gabby's a great sitter though. She really loves the kids and engages them with a way that's charming to see. The main plot unfurls when she's forced to watch a shapechanging alien named Wutt while at school. (Are pre-teens in 2015 really going to get the Abbot and Costello joke when we meet Wutt's parents Hoo and Ayedunno? I did chuckle.) Gabby consistently puts Wutt's needs first, tries to be entertaining but educational, and really cares about her charge. When an anti-alien group, G.E.T.O.U.T. shows up and everything goes pear shaped, Gabby never complains. In fact, that's kind of my problem. Gabby's too perfect and adapts too quickly. I wanted to see her get a little more ruffled. She also keeps the existence of aliens a secret for less than 24 hours, which is why we don't entrust that knowledge to pre-teens.

On the moral side, there's a good lesson about appearances being deceiving. Content wise, it's absolutely ok for younger MGers, probably even reaching down to the 7-8 range. (Two brief references to dad dying in the army and one mildly scary chase scene where the heroines roll into a ditch.) In all, a cute couple of hours, but not a book I'll keep on my shelves, as my 11 year old nieces are probably already too old for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.