Welfy Q. Deederhoth: Meat Purveyor World Savior, by Eric Laster
This Advanced Reader's Copy was sent to me at the bookstore from the author, who lives in LA but often visits Napa, and it's a fantastic find. It's written for middle readers, but of a decidedly precocious bent, as it has plenty of advanced vocabulary and some rather dark themes. The eponymous hero grew up in the foster care system, and had some awful experiences, causing him to run away to New York City when he's about 15 years old. He eventually finds a steady job at a deli, owned by the astrologically obsessed Morton, and by accident (or is it?) discovers a portal to an alien planet. The Brundeedles are convinced he is the prophesied savior of their people after near total annihilation by an insect-like species called Ceparids. Laster is deft at weaving Welfy's complicated - and all too common - past into his science fiction future, and it's really nice to see another boy hero in a genre overpopulated by female warriors. I look forward to handselling this book to our young customers!