Meggie Blue and her family, consisting her brother David, mother, and Gramps are refugees from another world, living on Earth. But when one of the earthlings catches sight of the families' electric blue hair, a genetic trait of the Chromian species, the Blues are forced to flee, escaping in their space ship. The ship, having followed their instructions to take them somewhere where English is the native tongue and they will be safe, drops them off in Fashion City. From the outside everything appears to be perfect. No disease, no homelessness, no starvation. The Fathers take care of everyone. But the longer they live there, the Blues begin to realize that this parallel Earth may not be as perfect as all the residents say it is.
I shall begin my new round of blogging with a book review for a book I absolutely loved. If there was ever a way for a child, or for that matter an adult, to comprehend the way North Koreans live then it is in this book. Fashion City is part of a closed society, carefully brainwashed for obedience, able to spout government propaganda without thought, and careful to never step out of line. The people live in constant fear, yet they manage to find music, and love, art and color. Nothing can quench the human spirit.
Meggie and David are both very interesting characters, Meggie for her kindness and adaptability and David for his seeming perfection. Yet, Meggie and David would not be nearly so interesting without a wonderful cast of characters. There is the wise and artistic Gramps, their dutiful and intelligent mother, and all the people of Fashion City like Elvis Presley, Gil and his family, and Meggie's best friend Kitty.
It is rare to find a science fiction book for middle grade readers, and even rarer to find one with a parallel earth, and even rarer to find one that makes such a big statement and yet doesn't feel didactic.
I think many young readers will be easily caught up in this Twilight Zone kind of novel.