Study Guide

The True Meaning of Smekday

By Adam Rex

The True Meaning of Smekday Introduction

If we were aliens about to attack a planet full of people, we don't think watching their television shows and figuring out how they fold laundry would be at the top of our to do list. But then again, we're humans, not Boov.

And who are Boov? Why, the eight-legged, pint-sized, colorful creatures who land on earth and rename it "Smekland" in honor of their captain in The True Meaning of Smekday, of course. Before they even take off in their spaceship, the Boov watch reruns of I Love Lucy and abduct a bunch of humans to watch them fold up some T-shirts all neat and hear them speak different languages.

One of these humans is eleven-year-old Tip's mom. When Tip is left all alone on the brink of an alien invasion, she's got to fend for herself and figure out how to survive. If you're thinking that sounds pretty dramatic and rough, don't worry—Adam Rex's 2009 novel puts a funny spin on the whole thing, especially when another group of aliens crashes the party.

So if you're looking for a reason to pick up the novel, we'll give you not just one, but three:

  • It's written from an eleven-year-old's perspective, so no adults rain on this parade.
  • It features hovering cars, invisible guns, and two Disneyland lookalikes (called Happy Mouse Kingdom).
  • It's filled with little comics to fill us in on who the aliens are. Need we say more?

Besides, according to J.Lo, "it tastes just like a book should." (Source)

What is The True Meaning of Smekday About and Why Should I Care?

Have you ever judged someone by how they look? Be honest—we've all done it before. You think that girl with the perfect hair and nails must be way too into her looks, or the head quarterback probably isn't the brightest bulb in the bunch, or the girl who pulls perfect grades doesn't do anything but study. The thing about snap judgments, though, is that they're usually based on stereotypes instead of fact.

It's not fair to judge someone based solely on outward appearances, but that's exactly what we all do, day in and day out. Whether we admit it or not, we judge most people before they even speak—and our heroine in The True Meaning of Smekday is no different. Tip thinks that just because someone is an alien, he's all bad news, but she soon learns that sometimes people—and aliens—can surprise you.

As she gets to know J.Lo, a Boov alien with a knack for fixing things, Tip learns that he's not as bad as she made him out to be. Sure, he's an alien. But who cares? He's also pretty cool and helpful to have around. So next time you judge a book by its cover, just think of J.Lo. That person could be an awesome friend if you just give him a chance.

The True Meaning of Smekday Resources

Websites

Welcome to Smekland
If you lived in Smekland, this would be your go-to for all the latest info.

Boov Fashion…
… is just one of the things you can find on Adam Rex's blog. Be sure to check out J.Lo's earthling style.

Movie or TV Productions

Phone Home
Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons and Steve Martin give their voices to this DreamWorks animated flick.

Articles and Interviews

Inside a Rex
If you're wondering where Adam Rex got his idea for the book, check out this interview.

Me and My Alien
The New York Times review of Smekday.

Video

Are We There Yet?
A trailer for DreamWorks animated version of the (re-named) book.

Q&A With the Author
Adam Rex answers fan's questions, hosted by the Houston Public Library.

Images

A Whole New World
Smek City, as imagined by the author.

Boov! It's a Ghost
We know the Ghostbusters wouldn't be able to deal with this little guy.