Gabby Duran and the Unsittables by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners Book Review and Book Giveaway

Gabby Duran and the Unsittables by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 12, 2015

The Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings (hereby known as A.L.I.E.N.) has a new member. After months of investigation, Gabby Duran, has proven herself to be a babysitter extraordinaire. Her celebrity clients fly her around the country to care for their rambunctious little humans. Associate 4118-23432B, otherwise known as Edwina, believes Gabby can be trusted with the truth: aliens are living among humans on Earth. And here at A.L.I.E.N we believe that even extraterrestrials need a babysitter now and then. No one was up to the task...until now. After accepting the top-secret position, Edwina has paired our new associate up with her first charge, a little girl from the planet Flarknartia. The timing for associate 4118-25125A is less than ideal. It's a school day on Planet Earth, Gabby's audition for the solo part in the band is tonight, and this tiny alien is a bit more than meets the eye. Can Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, First Sitter to the Unsittables, keep her otherworldly charge safe in the unpredictable halls of middle-school and keep A.L.I.E.N hidden?

A mash-up of The Babysitter's Club and Men in Black, Gabby Duran is a superhero babysitter. In the few short months that she has legally been able to babysit (this is my view and not mentioned at all in the book), Gabby has garnered quite a babysitting reputation. This was about the age that I began my "official" babysitting business and although I had a decent client list after a year, no one was picking me up in limos to babysit for movie stars. This is, of course, a fantasy though and in Gabby's universe there are such things as 12-year-old sitter's for the stars. And sitter of aliens. 

Gabby is a cute character. Smart and patient, with a deep understanding of how to get kids to behave. (this may be because she is a kid herself) Amidst her babysitting empire, Gabby also manages to maintain a good GPA and dreams of playing the French Horn, if not for a living, then at least for the solo at the recital on Friday. This was perhaps the most confusing part for me. Although the instrument playing added another "thing" that Gabby does, it was also something else that she does really well. The problem I had with this is that it seems like Gabby doesn't have any weaknesses. Even when a child turns into a giant slug, Gabby is on it with all the poise and grace that a super sitter would have. Sure she screamed for a minute or two, but once she let her logic override her panic, the giant slug kid was asleep in her lap. Although it made for an interesting story, it made Gabby rather one-dimensional and extremely predictable. Then again, it's not like the Babysitter's Club books were any less predictable and were often didactic to boot.

Besides, that's not why you would read this book anyway. This one is purely for the entertainment factor and on that level it exceeds. Babysitting can be an adventure and it turns out that when you are taking care of the tenth in line for the throne of Flarknartia (who also can turn herself into anything), things are bound to get a little crazy.

A copy of this book was provided to me by Disney Hyperion in exchange for an honest review and book giveaway. 

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About the Authors:
Emmy-nominated writer and New York Times best-selling author Elise Allen made a name for herself with her acclaimed young adult novel Populazzi (Harcourt), and the Jim Henson's Enchanted Sisters chapter books (Bloomsbury).  In television, she has written for talent ranging from Bill Cosby to Kermit the Frog, and is currently writing for the new Disney Junior show The Lion Guard. Her dog may or may not secretly be from another planet.

Daryle Conners is an award-winning writer, filmmaker and video game designer. She writes joke and riddle books and has designed many game titles for the PC and iPhone/iPad including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Scene It? Harry Potter, Hot Wheels Slot Car Racers, and Scene It? Twilight Saga. Her non-fiction books include Lunchtime LOLZ, Nintendo DS Hot Tips, ROFLs,Video Game Secrets and Monster High Jokes, all for Scholastic. Daryle lives in Seattle, where she still babysits from time to time.

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