The True Meaning of Smekday


By Adam Rex

Illustrated by Adam Rex

Formats and Prices




$12.99 CAD


This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 5, 2009. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The hilarious, genre-bending novel from bestselling author Adam rex that inspired the blockbuster feature film Home – fully illustrated with "photos," drawings, newspaper clippings, and comics sequences.

When twelve-year-old Gratuity ("Tip") Tucci is assigned to write five pages on "The True Meaning of Smekday" for the National Time Capsule contest, she's not sure where to begin; when her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge bizarre spaceships descended on Earth and the aliens — called Boov — abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it "Smekland" (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?

In any case, Gratuity's story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo; a futile journey south to find Gratuity's mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion.


  • "First-time novelist Rex has written an imaginative, wacky, hilarious sci-fi story that will appeal to fans of Eoin Colfer and Jon Scieszka. Lively cartoon-paneled illustrations are interspersed throughout and add to the fun. This is a fast-paced adventure with a whip-smart protagonist, a lovable and resourceful extraterrestrial, and plenty of social commentary."
    School Library Journal
  • "The humor in this story is undeniably unique... the first half of the book is an entirely funny road trip of the Kerouac-meets-E.T. variety."
    Kirkus Review
  • "[G]uaranteed to tickle the middle-school funny bone." 
  • "Adam Rex has created a book that is so snappy and fun and angst-giddy that you really can't put it down, because to do so would mean going back to the harsh-world reality in which you live and almost die. But reading a book this captivating is always worth the risk of being abducted by aliens with weak immune systems." -- Jack Gantos, author of 2012 Newbery Medal winner Dead End in Norvelt
  • "This is a truly wonderful book about what happens when a girl named Gratuity and a cat named Pig join forces with an alien named J.Lo to try to save the world from another group of aliens who... Okay, it gets complicated. But trust me: it never stops being funny." -- Dave Barry

On Sale
May 5, 2009
Page Count
432 pages

Adam Rex

About the Illustrator

Adam Rex ( is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich. His other books include Pssst!, The True Meaning of Smekday, The Dirty Cowboy (written by Amy Timberlake) and the Lucy Rose series (written by Katy Kelly). He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Learn more about this illustrator