Don’t you just hate it when a train from outer space tries to swallow up you and your dog whole in the grassy plains behind your house? And don’t you just hate it when your planet is suddenly sucked through a wormhole and placed smack dab in the middle of a couple even bigger planets? And isn’t it just the worst when you realize that all of the above is all part of some game, that your world is just a cue ball for someone to propel across the pool table that is the universe?
Well, in The Train from Outer Space, that’s exactly the situation twelve-year-old Brady finds himself in, scrambling to make sense of it all while at the same time prevent what looks to be Armageddon on a scale no one could have ever imagined.
In Alan Sproles and Lizanne Southgate’s spirited sci-fi adventure for the middle-school set, insanity is the new normal for planet Earth. Introduced to the reader and Brady is a zany and mysterious universe filled with bizarre life forms, the likes of which no one has ever seen. Chief among them is the tiny, gelatinous being Brady and his spunky best friend Franky refer to as “Li’l Dude,” whose crashed space module heralds the advent of the train.
At first, their new extra-terrestrial companion seems to be more disgruntled than dangerous, but little do they know a whole mess of trouble follows Li’l Dude to their big blue home in the form of Rotaxis, an alien creature who repositions Earth in a brand new solar system.
With little time and planetary fallout imminent, Brady and Franky find they are the only ones equipped to discover the truth behind Li’l Dude’s presence and find a way to reverse the wormhole and send themselves back to the Milky Way. Only they soon realize there’s only one way to accomplish their goal. They must board the train from outer space.
Energetically comical without undermining true, human development, The Train from Outer Space thrusts its protagonists into a world of imagination and color that only seems to accentuate their even more vibrant personalities. While the supporting cast is equally wacky and fun, it’s Brady’s growth during the adventure that ties up the story nicely, as he searches for purpose and a newfound sense of family following the death of his father. Only through loyalty and teamwork will he finally find what he’s looking for… not to mention save the entire planet.