Contact of the Best Kind 2nd Edition: Friendship
by Gregory Royal
Lettra Press

"Whose story do you think is easier to believe? That I saw a 100 foot long sea monster or that you saw aliens?"

Eleven-year-old Abby Mortenson, her mother, Helen, and her father, Tony, convince Tony's friend, Maurice, to take their cruiser from Miami, Florida, to Baltimore, Maryland. Tony and Maurice are both NFL players. When their boat gets hit by a tsunami, the group is shipwrecked on an island somewhere around the Bermuda Triangle. Abby puts a plea for help into a Coke bottle, and another eleven-year-old, Micheal—an alien whose parents crash-landed at Roswell in 1947 and now lives underwater—brings the bottle across the ocean on his supership. Young Levi Benjamin finds the note and uses Google Maps to locate the group. Thus begins the friendship between three very different young people.

Royal has created an intriguing story, filled with daring rescues and high-stakes drama. By incorporating mysterious real-life events into his narrative, he adds another layer of intrigue to his readers. The connection between the controversial alien ship crash in Roswell in 1947 and the strange happenings around the Bermuda Triangle form a clever plotline. Although these events are still officially unproven, it's delightfully plausible that a child born from aliens who crash-landed at Roswell would be stuck living on earth.

When they discover each other, Abby and Micheal could have let fear take over, but instead, they work together to come up with their rescue plan. Royal portrays all three tweens as smarter than the adults around them and certainly less judgmental. The adults in the book are important to the storyline, but it is the children who think outside the box and find a solution together. The dialogue is well written, and Royal creates an abundance of interwoven storylines throughout the novel. Overall, this is a unique story, and the author has taken great care in developing his characters to fit a very creative plotline.

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