written by Adrianna Cuevas
cover illustration by Vanessa Flores
from the Macmillan website:
From Pura Belpré Honoree and Edgar Award Winner Adrianna Cuevas comes an out-of-this-world middle grade adventure, based on true historical events, perfect for fans of The Goonies and Stranger Things.

All Pineda Matlage wants is to get through the school year and maybe pull an epic prank or two with his friends Junior, Ernesto, and Patsy. But class is disrupted when a slew of American soldiers descends upon their rural Texan town of Soledad. They’ll be carrying out a training exercise and taking over everything, from Pineda’s school to the local government.

But Pineda knows why they’re really here. For days he’s hidden the strange creature who fell from the sky in his parents’ barn. He promised her he’d find her family and help them return home. But with soldiers now on every street corner and armed checkpoints across every road, reuniting his new friend with her missing parents seems an impossible task. Especially when they realize that the army’s presence is really a coverup for capturing his alien friends—being observed in a laboratory by the US government for reasons of their own.

Enlisting the help of his friends, a Black soldier adjusting to a newly integrated army, and townspeople tired of the military’s destructive presence, Pineda and all of Soledad will embark on an adventure none of them could have ever expected.

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