Audiobook: Smek for President

by Adam Rex
Read by Bahni Turpin
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: Nothing. Nada. Some fake swearing (“pardon my language”). The audio version is probably good for kids who have an attention span longer than 20 seconds; the book is in the middle grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.

I loved the audiobook of The True Meaning of Smekday, so when I heard that Bahni Turpin was doing the sequel, I KNEW that was how I needed to experience this book. And I was right. Turpin is perfect for this. Seriously.

The story picks up a year and a half after Gratuity “Tip” Tucci and J. Lo save the world. The Boov have moved to New Boovworld, on one of Saturn’s moons. J. Lo and Tip are hanging on Earth, trying to get used to having Tip’s mom around. And, for J. Lo, trying to to fit in. They need a break, and so J. Lo soups up their car, Slushious, and they head off-world to check out the new Boov homeland. Since they saved the world, they’ll be welcomed as heroes, right?

Well, no.

Things don’t go quite like they planned. J. Lo is named Public Enemy Number One, and thrown into jail. Tip repeatedly avoids being captured, but only just barely. Which sends her on an adventure through New Boovworld. She meets and befriends a delightful flying billboard, whom she names Bill (of course), as well as several other Boov (and one human; Dan Landry’s son), in her attempts to free J. Lo and set everything right. There’s a lot of action, tons of humor, and a bit of time travel in the mix.

But what really made the book was Turpin. I adore her reading style, and it’s perfect for Adam Rex’s humor. I was chortling, guffawing on occasion, and I was thoroughly charmed by all the Boov voices (with their distinctive quirks). I was pleased to see that the Chief was back (if only in Tip’s imagination), as well as other favorite characters from the first book. I loved how Rex imagined New Boovworld. And it was satisfying (as a parent) to see that there were real consequences for Tip’s actions.

In short: I adored it.

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