Publisher: Gollancz

Lbbp, resident of the city of Hrrng in the country of Mlml on the distant planet Fnrr, has a problem in the shape of a tiny human baby. Having accidentally abducted her on a research trip to Earth, he sees only one solution: he adopts her as his own, names her Terra, and sends her to school like any other Fnrrian child. And that’s when the problems really begin, for Terra isn’t really like a Fnrrian. For one thing, she can pronounce vowels. For another, she can do something that Fnrrians have never mastered: tell stories.

From the idea that behind the urban legends of alien abduction might be a terrible (and slightly embarrassing) misunderstanding, Mitch Benn has woven a funny and touching tale of what it means to belong. Though readers might at times find keeping track of all the strangely-named characters and places a little challenging, it is hard not to be charmed by the absurd and slightly whimsical qualities of the world that Benn’s prose evokes. An impressive and captivating debut with something to offer for readers of all ages.

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