By John Martin
Foreword by James Patterson
Read by Nate Begle
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Kelvin Klosmo isn’t just the new kid at school — he’s the new kid in the galaxy! Welcome to Sci-Fi Junior High: an inter-galactic space station with students of all shapes, sizes, smells, and . . . slime content.
As the son of Earth’s two most famous geniuses, Kelvin isn’t just the smartest kid in the world . . . he’s the smartest kid in the Universe. At least, that’s what everybody at Sci-Fi Junior High thinks. So, maybe Kelvin lied a little about being a genius to fit in. And maybe a mad scientist is about to take over the universe unless Kelvin can stop him. Maybe everyone is doomed.
Well, at least Kelvin won’t have to worry about math homework anymore. Sci-Fi Junior High is an out-of-this-world story about friendship, accepting our differences, and the fight against evil . . . bunnies. Yes, evil bunnies — don’t ask.
Seriously? Mom and Dad expect me to get up and go to school the morning after a 329,000,000,000,000,000-mile road trip across the galaxy? And I'm not even a morning person to begin with. I can't fake being sick, either. Not with the sterile environment of the space station. No germs = no sickness. Ever. Not even the sniffles. At least I got a good night's sleep. The zero-gravity pods in our LIV spaces are waaaay more comfortable than regular beds. And you can sleep standing up, so they take up less space.
Oh, hold on a second. I guess I should explain. My name is Kelvin, and I'm about to start my first day at a new school, which is nothing new to me. Our family moves around a lot, and this is my fourth new school in the past five years. It's just that this one is 56,000 light-years from the last one.
And this is my family. My mom and dad are scientists, really smart ones, which is why we're moving around all the time. They keep getting new projects to work on, and we have to go where the projects are. In this case, that's the other end of the galaxy. Oh, and down on the end there is my little sister, Bula. Unfortunately, she had to come along with us. So I guess there really is one germ on this space station.
Robotics is Dad's specialty. You may already be familiar with some of his work. Like the X9000 PulverBot he designed for Global Mining, Inc.
Then there's the PL370 Rootin' Tootin' Asteroid-Shootin' Bot he created to keep foreign objects from colliding with the earth.
And, of course, the NIVEN6000 All-Terrain Fully Armored Nuclear-Powered Rescue/Bake Bot…
Dad feels that anyone in dire need of rescue must also be in dire need of a warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.
Then there's my mom. She's a neuroscientist, which means she plays around with brains.
No, not like that. She works with the brains while they're still inside the heads. At least, that's what she tells me. Although it would be pretty cool to have an evil scientist for a mom!
Since my mom and dad are both supergeniuses, that obviously makes me a supergenius, too, right? Nope. It makes me a double supergenius! Or what I like to call a Mighty Mega Supergenius! It also makes me the smartest human being in the world. There's really no arguing the fact. It's simple math.
And this is our new "home"…
It's called the Galactic Science Hub. The top two scientists from more than two hundred different planets live aboard it with their families. So do all the other workers and their families. It's huge, it's in the middle of space, and it's the first place I've ever lived aboard instead of in.
We haven't even been here a day yet, but like I said, the zero-gravity pods are awesome. The "showers," though—not so much. We have to be careful how much water we use on the space station, so we clean up using this thing called a Vacuu-Suk 3000.
Sure, it sucks all the dirt off your body. It even sucks all the dirt off your clothes. But no way is it as relaxing as a hot shower. Plus, you have to hold your breath for fifteen seconds. Plus, you really have to work the hair gel when you're done.
But so far so good, I guess.
Most days I'll take the shuttle bus over to the school they set up for all the kids on the Science Hub. It's sort of its own separate mini space station. Fortunately, the older kids have their own school, so we don't have to deal with them very often. Even better, the little kids, like Bula, stay aboard the Science Hub and out of our hair.
Since it's my first day, though, Mom is taking me in. Normally, this would be a major bag-over-the-head situation, but I get to go in a little late so we can meet with Principal Ort before I go to class. I figure the hallways should be mostly empty if we get there before class lets out, so as long as I keep my head down and slink along the walls, no one should see us together.
"C'mon, Mom!" I yell. "I don't want to be late for my meeting!"
"I'll just be a minute," she yells back from the bathroom. "I think it's great that you're so excited to get started at your new school, Kelvin!"
"Actually, not so much excited as worried that hundreds of kids' first impressions of me will be the dweeb who has to have his mommy bring him to school," I say. Very quietly. To myself. Nothing could be worse.
"Okay, Kelvin. I'm ready to go."
Okay… this is worse.
"Uh… Mom?" I say. "Your… umm… hair is…"
"I know! Isn't it wonderful? And I didn't even have to do anything to get it this way! I just love that Vacuu-Suk 3000!"
Please, please, please can we get to school before class lets out?
So this is it. Sciriustrati Fibronoculareus Junior High School.
I'm not really sure how to pronounce it, but Dad said everybody just calls it Sci-Fi Junior High. The whole way over here I've been trying to come up with a plan to keep Mom from coming in to school with me. And I think I've got it! All I need is a flashlight, a jet pack, three gallons of blueberry yogurt, forty feet of high-strength fishing line, and a bucket of…
"You know what, Kelvin? Why don't you just go ahead into your meeting without me?"
… golf balls.
"I'm sure the last thing you need is to be seen with your mom on your first day, right?"
"I'll just stop in and talk to the principal later this afternoon. Have a great day. Oh, and don't forget your helmet."
I can't believe it! It worked! My plan actually worked! And I didn't even have to… you know… use it! Now to play it cool. I don't want to seem too happy she's not coming in and hurt her feelings.
"You sure, Mom? It's really not a big deal."
"Really? Well, in that case I suppose I could stop in for a minute or two and—"
"NO! I mean… you don't have to do that. I… I'm sure you're real busy with… whatever it is you're working on. I'll be fine."
Yikes. Now I kinda wish she was here. Starting at a new school… with a weird name… in the middle of outer space? What was I thinking wanting to do this by myself? What if the articificial gravity on this platform stops working? What if I accidentally open the wrong door and get sucked out an air lock? What if my helmet cracks and my head implodes while I'm standing out here thinking about all the horrible things that could happen?
I'd better get inside.
I sure hope Principal Ort is in his office. Or is it her office? Guess I'll find out soon enough.
This looks like it. I press the button on the door.
"It's Kelvin Klosmo," I say. "I'm a new student and—"
"Ah, yes!" the eyeball interrupts. "Mr. Klosmo! Come right in and have a seat. We've been expecting you."
The door slides open and I step inside.
Hmm. Still no idea whether he is a she… or she is a he. Or both. Or neither.
"Hello, Kelvin. My name is Principal Ort, and I must say that we are very pleased to have you here at Sciriustrati Fibronoculareus Junior High School. VERY pleased! TREMENDOUSLY pleased! EXTRAORDINARILY pleased!"
"Wow. Thanks, I guess. But how do you even know who I am?"
"Who you are? Why, you're Kelvin Klosmo—the only student in the entire school who has both parents serving as scientists on the space station. Which means, of course, that your parents are the two most brilliant scientific minds on your entire planet. I can't even imagine what a genius you must be! We're expecting incredible things from you, young man. INCREDIBLE things! MAGNIFICENT things! SPLENDIFEROUS things!"
Uh-oh. Splendiferous? I don't even know what that means. You know that Mighty Mega Supergeniusness I told you about before? Well, I wasn't being totally honest. I sort of forgot to mention that it hasn't actually, you know, kicked in yet. It's still stuck somewhere in the back of my brain, waiting for the right time to show itself. But I'm positive it's only a matter of time. And I'm guessing it should happen pretty soon. Probably at the same time my voice changes. Only it's going to hit me all at once, like some massive bolt of lightning. Or a nuclear explosion. I just hope I'm not going to the bathroom when it happens! Until then I've got to keep faking it. Sometimes it feels like my being a genius is the only reason anyone even notices me at school.
"Uh… well… I'm expecting big things from me, too. I guess."
"Excellent! Now, where did I put your class schedule? Ah. Here it is. Let me just put on my reading glasses and take a look at which classroom you should be in at the moment."
"Ah. There we go. Now let's see… yes, here we are. Eleven twenty a.m. You should be having lunch in the cafeteria. And what an excellent way to begin your first day. Lunch Lady LL7000 always serves up delicious meals. DELICIOUS meals! DELECTIBLE meals! MELT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH meals! Let's go. I'll show you the way."
As we get up to leave, I notice a picture frame on the desk. Maybe this will help me figure out if Principal Ort is a Mr. or a Mrs. Or a Miss. Or a Mx.
"Is that your family, Principal Ort?"
"Why, yes it is, Kelvin. How nice of you to ask. We've been happily married for one hundred thirty-six years. And we have a wonderful son and daughter. We're both so proud."
Nope. No help there. Principal Ort leads me down the deserted hallway to the cafeteria. "Well, here's where I leave you for now," he or she says. "Have a wonderful first day, Kelvin. A WONDERFUL day! A SPECTACULAR day! A SENSATIONAL day! I'm extremely excited to see what great things you accomplish here."
And then it's just me—and the cafeteria door.
Well, here goes nothing. What do I have to be afraid of, anyway? I've been to plenty of new schools. I mean, how different could this one really be?
"Hmmm. I don't remember seeing you before."
"It's my first day."
"Really? What planet are you from?"
"Do they teach you how to duck on Earth?"
"C'mon, let's get out of the line of fire."
"So, what's going on? Does this happen a lot around here?"
"Every once in a while. It usually starts with some misunderstanding. Like today—somebody mistook another student for a dessert and covered him with whipped gream. That's when all shnort broke loose. In his defense, though, the kid does look an awful lot like Jell-O."
Oh man. My Mighty Mega Supergeniusness better kick in soon, or I'm in for a loooong year.
"I guess my, uh, reputation precedes me."
"It sure did. But now that you're here, it can just show up the same time you do from now on. Hey, say something brilliant!"
"Brilliant? Like what?"
"How would I know? You're the genius."
Yikes! Being put on the spot already. Think, Kelvin. There must be some smart, interesting factoid you can drum up. Something? Anything? Just as I'm about to tell Spotch that the capital of Vermont is Montpelier, Principal Ort comes through the cafeteria door.
- Praise for Sci-Fi Junior High:
—Jake Marcionette, New York Times bestselling author of the Just Jake series
- On Sale
- Feb 21, 2017
- Hachette Audio