Little, Brown Ink
Published June 27, 2023
About Out There
A touching, out-of-this-world graphic novel about a daughter, her father, and the aliens that may or may not be speaking to him.
Julia didn’t always believe in aliens.
It was her father who convinced her otherwise. You see—Julia’s dad believes he was abducted by aliens. And ever since then, he’s been obsessed with the extraterrestrial beings living out there.
So when a festival commemorating the 75th anniversary of the infamous UFO crash in New Mexico rolls around, Julia turns down a dream vacation to Hawaii with her best friend, Sara, to join her dad for a weekend trip to Roswell, where he expects the aliens to make contact.
But amid the alien-themed goofiness of the festival, Julia finds she isn’t sure whether her father really did get abducted. His memories of alien interference are starting to sound increasingly shaky, and with them, her faith in him. Will this weekend bring the two closer together or only drive them apart?
A heartfelt story of family, loyalty, and the lengths we go to support those we love.
I feel like I read this whole book on the edge of my seat. Julia is so invested in what her dad believes– that aliens abducted him and are planning to meet him again with an important message. I really worried about what would happen if she decided he was mistaken or lying. It would be so painful for her.
One of the things that really impressed me with the story is the way everything feels layered and left to the reader to interpret. As Julia explores the UFO convention and sees some of the attractions and meets other attendees, she rarely voices a judgmental opinion. Sometimes, she seems to have doubts or concerns, but she often remains optimistic and loyal to her dad.
The brightly colored, straightforward illustrations also communicate emotion and action really well. Some scenes have a playful sense to them, and others echo the loneliness or isolation the characters feel in those moments.
All in all, I liked this story a lot. I really appreciate the sensitivity with which the story is told and the way it ends, leaving space for readers to draw their own conclusions.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Major characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
A woman briefly describes an alien abductor taking a sample of skin from her arm.
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