Have you ever had that one really weird teacher, so weird you wondered if he or she was from another world? That’s what happened to the Class 6 students in Kennituck Falls Elementary school when their class teacher Ms Schwartz mysteriously goes on leave and a man called John Smith is sent in as a substitute teacher. Smith is tall, and weird. So weird that two students, Susan and Peter, decide to spy on him. They find out that he really is from another world — he is a green-skinned alien from another planet wearing a mask to look like a human being! He is planning to choose a student from the class to take back to his world for some reason. Susan and Duncan have to try and find out what, and stop him!
If this sounds like an exciting story, the good news is that it is only the beginning. This is the plot of the novel My Teacher Is An Alien by Bruce Coville. The book is only the first volume in a series. The other four books are My Teacher Fried My Brains, My Teacher Glows In The Dark and My Teacher Flunked The Planet.
In these stories, we meet a whole universe of aliens outside our world. There are many interesting characters like Broxholm, the alien teacher, the little alien snail Poot, a three-foot tall alien called Hoo Lan who glows in the dark and many more. These aliens are all part of a federation of the intelligent species of the galaxy. They have all been watching earth and are very worried. Human beings are an intelligent species, like them, but are very violent. As you may know, human beings have been fighting wars with each other all through history. Over the years, our weapons have become more and more deadly, from sticks and stones to atom bombs and chemical agents. No other species in the galaxy has continued to be violent like this after reaching a certain level of intelligence. The aliens are worried that if we make powerful enough weapons we could be a danger to the whole galaxy. One group of aliens wants to blow the planet up immediately. Another group wants to wait and watch and see if humans can be taught to behave better. That is why Broxholm was sent to earth — to observe us and see if we have the ability to learn to be peaceful. He wants to take a child back so that the child can be studied.
Finally, a group of children including Susan, Douglas and their classmate Duncan manage to persuade the aliens to study the planet one more time before making up their minds. By the fourth volume the big question is: will the powerful aliens decide human beings are a threat and blow up our planet? As you can see, these books are thrilling and imaginative. They’re also well written with a great mix of humour, thrills and interesting ideas to think about. They are books that make you smarter while they entertain you — the best kind of books there are. And once you finish reading them, Bruce Coville has a lot of other great series that you might enjoy reading too.