The Only Alien on the Planet (YA)

by Kristen D. Randle

When Ginny and her family move across country at the same time that her favorite brother goes to college, she feels totally lost and alone. In the midst of her upheaval, she is drawn to Smitty Tibbs, the strange boy in her homeroom who hasn’t spoken a word to anyone since he was two years old. What keeps him trapped within himself? And if she can help him break free, what then?

I read this book in high school, and it stuck with me. I’ve been thinking about it for the past several years, and I finally got around to rereading it. It feels a little bit dated, between the lack of technology and some of the slang, but it is still a really good book. I love the characters and the depth. It addresses some hard stuff, like emotional abuse, but there is nothing explicit, and it consistently emphasizes hope and light and love.

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