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It Came from the Sky
Cover of It Came from the Sky
It Came from the Sky
From the author of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett and As You Wish comes the unforgettable story of the one small town's biggest hoax and the two brothers who started it all.This is the absolutely...
From the author of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett and As You Wish comes the unforgettable story of the one small town's biggest hoax and the two brothers who started it all.This is the absolutely...
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  • From the author of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett and As You Wish comes the unforgettable story of the one small town's biggest hoax and the two brothers who started it all.

    This is the absolutely true account of how Lansburg, Pennsylvania was invaded by aliens and the weeks of chaos that followed. There were sightings of UFOs, close encounters, and even abductions. There were believers, Truth Seekers, and, above all, people who looked to the sky and hoped for more.

    Only...there were no aliens.

    Gideon Hofstadt knows what really happened. When one of his science experiments went wrong, he and his older brother blamed the resulting explosion on extraterrestrial activity. And their lie was not only believed by their town—it was embraced. As the brothers go to increasingly greater lengths to keep up the ruse and avoid getting caught, the hoax flourishes. But Gideon's obsession with their tale threatened his whole world. Can he find a way to banish the aliens before Lansburg, and his life, are changed forever?

    Told in a report format and comprised of interviews, blog posts, text conversations, found documents, and so much more, It Came from the Sky is a hysterical and resonant novel about what it means to be human in the face of the unknown.

    Also by Chelsea Sedoti:
    The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
    As You Wish

    Praise for Chelsea Sedoti:
    "Depending on the reader, this novel offers different levels of intensity, starting with the everyday sort of teen troubles, progressing to difficult family dynamics, and reaching up to the ethical dilemmas wishing can create—all while being easy to read and hard to put down."—VOYA, STARRED Review for As You Wish
    "Heartbreaking, other times hilarious, but always thought-provoking. An unexpectedly affecting book that will have readers pondering what they would wish for if given the chance."—Booklist for As You Wish
    "Resonant and memorable."—Publishers Weekly for The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
    "Wildly creative."—School Library Journal for The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

About the Author-

  • Chelsea Sedoti fell in love with writing at a young age after discovering that making up stories was more fun than doing her schoolwork. (Her teachers didn't always appreciate this.) She now focuses that passion by writing about flawed teenagers who are also afraid of growing up, like in her novels, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett and As You Wish. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she avoids casinos but loves roaming the Mojave Desert. Visit her at chelseasedoti.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2020
    A nerdy teen loses control of an out-of-this-world lie. Sixteen-year-old Gideon Hofstadt has predicted his future: college at MIT, career at NASA, and, somewhere along the way, a discovery that forever alters human knowledge. For now, he's vying to graduate as valedictorian and running a backyard laboratory on his family's ancestral Lansburg, Pennsylvania, farm. When Gideon rigs an explosion to test a homemade seismograph, his goofball brother Ishmael's interference results in a blast larger than either anticipated. Under interrogation, Ishmael ad-libs, eventually alleging extraterrestrial visitation--and, shockingly, people buy it. The astonished brothers watch as the prank takes on a life of its own with townspeople, ufologists, and media contributing otherworldly additions to the hoax. Though pacing occasionally sags, Gideon's first-person confessional is buoyed by deadpan humor and interstitial text messages, interviews, blog posts, and news articles. Things finally grow dangerous when J. Quincy Oswald, the predatory con man behind a multilevel marketing scheme, decides Lansburg is the perfect launch site for a phony immortality elixir. Gideon's struggles--with introversion and insecurity; commitment issues with his boyfriend, Owen; and habitual mistreatment of his friend Arden--complement this central narrative tension. Can Gideon come clean while his life is still worth salvaging? Or has he ultimately conned himself? Excepting Gideon's best friend, Cassidy, who is black, all characters are assumed white. A balanced exploration of maturity, vulnerability, human connection, and our innate desire to believe. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 22, 2020
    It is clear from the start that this clever tale by Sedoti (As You Wish) isn’t about alien encounters but rather about a hoax perpetrated by Gideon Hofstadt, 16, with the help of his brother, 17-year-old Ishmael, in Lansburg, Pa. After Gideon breaks his rule against letting Ishmael help with science experiments, the resulting explosion necessitates that the siblings come up with an excuse for the crater on their parents’ farm. After storyteller Ishmael ramps their original excuse into an alien encounter, the two continue the story, Gideon as a sociological experiment to help him get into MIT, Ishmael as an epic senior prank. Things quickly spiral out of control, however, with the arrival of UFO hunters and CEO J. Quincy Oswald, a combination con man and cult leader who claims to have had his own alien encounters. Meanwhile, insecure introvert Gideon is convinced that his relationship with popular Owen Campbell is doomed to failure, and is therefore reluctant to make things public. As the hoax snowballs, then unravels, it complicates Gideon’s relationship with Owen, his friends, and his family. Sedoti will draw readers in with the outrageous situation and the town’s amusing aspects, such as a 63-foot lava lamp, but she truly excels with Gideon—a unique character whose desire for recognition and achievement is universal. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary.

  • Booklist

    July 1, 2020
    Grades 9-12 Sixteen-year-old Gideon is a serious student with a grand plan, which includes MIT and NASA. Yet he worries that none of his experiments are groundbreaking enough to stand out. Enter Ishmael, Gideon's prank-loving older brother. Thanks to Ishmael, Gideon's controlled explosion to test his homemade seismograph leaves a crater in the family farm. Gideon blames a meteorite, but Ishmael embellishes until it becomes a UFO, and soon everyone in Lansburg, PA, has seen aliens. When the town is overrun with ufologists and reporters, Gideon decides to control the hoax, thereby creating a sociological experiment worthy of MIT. A snake oil salesman peddling an alien immortality elixir turns his harmless prank into a dangerous con. Gideon narrates this quirky, intelligent novel like a report, with data: texts, articles, interview transcripts. His deadpan humor and emotional insecurity offset some unlikability as he rigidly pursues his ideal future, leading him to neglect his kind boyfriend and supportive friends. Big questions of morality, cosmic insignificance, and human connection ground this novel even as it ponders the stars.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal

    August 21, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-The white Hofstadt family lives outside of Pittsburgh in rural Pennsylvania. Nothing is particularly interesting about them: Ishmael is a charming high school senior, Gideon is a science-minded junior, 13-year-old Maggie loves softball, and mom and dad are attentive and loving. But when Gideon and Ishmael set off an explosion-in the name of science-large enough to register on university seismographs, the chain of events that follows places the Hofstadts, especially Gideon, in the center of an alien invasion hoax, the bringing-down of a millionaire multi-level marketing guru, an alien cult, a missing cow, and the destruction of the world's largest lava lamp. Alongside attending high school, working at ye olde ice cream shoppe, learning to drive, and navigating friendships and first loves, Gideon struggles to keep control of the sociological experiment that he inadvertently put into motion. What he discovers is that people make terrible subjects, what with having their own interests and feelings and other illogical behaviors. Funny and lighthearted, this is a story about a young man who is learning about being human in the world, being loved, and showing care for others (like his ever-patient, kind-of boyfriend Owen). VERDICT Fans of Pete Hautman's dark humor, E. Lockhart's playful formats (letters and emails and transcripts, for example), Libba Bray's grasp of the outrageous, and John Green's sense of place will enjoy Sedoti's newest offering. -Jennifer Miskec, Longwood Univ., Farmville, VA

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Connection "Well written...Believable characters facing realistic teenage issues coupled with a thematic exploration of wishes, fears, and principles of honesty and ethics will help to keep readers' attention."

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