What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World by Henry Clark - now, THAT is a title. It's the kind of title that will make some kids - and adults - snatch the book up.
Most readers will get exactly what they want - an adventure pitting kids against an evil alien who is plotting to mwahahahahahahaha TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!!! and maybe the entire universe.
River, Freak and Fiona live on the edge of Hellsboro, as a section of their small town is called. Underground coal fires have turned a huge portion of the town into a nightmarish landscape surrounded by tall chain link fences.
One day, a sofa appears at the end of the driveway of an abandoned mansion. The three search in the sofa and find a coin, a double-six domino, and a zucchini colored crayon. So which of these items will save the world?
The new owner of the mansion, an odd man named Alf, enlists the three friends' help in flushing out the criminal behind the chemical spill that created Hellsboro. Is this fiend merely an industrialist with no conscience or is he - dum, dum, DUMMMMM- an evil alien? Alf makes no bones about the extra-terrestrial nature of this megalomaniac - a person so evil he beheaded his own daughter.
What follows is pretty exciting - with mind controlled henchpersons that dress up as dogs, furniture that thinks for itself, underground portals, slingshots and a whole bunch of narrow escapes. Enjoy. (Foe grades 4 and up.)