by Judy Newman
In 1969, approximately 600 million people—the largest television audience ever up to that point—tuned in to watch Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong step off the Apollo 11 lunar module and take those historic steps on the surface of the moon.
Astronauts have always been my superheroes. I have such tremendous respect for the intense physical, mental, and intellectual work that goes into becoming an astronaut and working at NASA. When I was working as a publicist at Dell Publishing, one of our authors, Marilyn Hamel, was dating Buzz Aldrin, and my date (now my husband, Jeff) and I got to have dinner with them during a book tour. That was thrilling.
I found out years later that Buzz grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, where I now live. I drive by his childhood middle school, which they renamed after him, practically every day. Buzz’s mother’s maiden name coincidentally was Moon.
While it was thrilling to meet an astronaut, I'm not sure how I would feel about meeting an alien. When Jigsaw Jones and his classmates discover a mysterious note tucked into a book from the new Little Free Library, all evidence suggests an alien is going to be visiting their school in A Jigsaw Jones Mystery: The Case from Outer Space, the Scholastic Book Clubs Book of the Week. But who could the visitor really be?
Solving mysteries is elementary for kid detective Theodore “Jigsaw” Jones and his best friend, Mila Yeh, as they investigate marshmallow monsters, stinky science projects, and disappearing dinosaurs in James Preller’s series for young readers, which has sold more than 10 million copies since 1998. The Case from Outer Space is the 33rd book of the series and is illustrated by R. W. Alley.
“With short sentences, bits of humor, and engaging illustrations, The Case from Outer Space has plenty of appeal for young independent readers.” —Booklist
Here are some additional resources to complement the Book of the Week:
• Take a brain break with the Book Boys as they perform an out-of-this-world song inspired by the book
• Get tips from third grade teacher Adanna McMayo on how to use The Case from Outer Space in the classroom in Book Talks
• Watch an exclusive interview with author James Preller in Behind the Scenes
• Download a free printable activity to accompany The Case from Outer Space in Cooked Up from a Book
When teachers are looking for more ways to share the joy of reading with their students, we’re on the case! That’s why in addition to the $1 Book of the Week, we’ve created inflation-busting savings, exclusive author events, live read-aloud shows, and fun contests to get kids engaged with reading.
Wishing all of our teachers, students, and families a happy and healthy holiday season from all of us at Scholastic Book Clubs.
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