The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

Our Score


The True Meaning of Smekday and its sequel Smek for President are comedic science fiction romps for middle school students. These are the books that inspired the animated movie Home, which is a family favorite. If you haven’t seen it, you should.


The Smek books follow the adventures of Gratuity Tucci, her cat Pig, and an alien name J.Lo, whose species has taken over planet Earth and kidnapped Tip’s mom. The first book is set on Earth, the second on another planet.


  • While the Smek books are the basis for the movie, that’s all they are. The stories quickly diverge from the movie so the readers can be surprised by what’s coming. The characters are similar enough that you feel like you’re reading companion novels.
  • The book is fun and funny. The antics of J.Lo are sure to make you smile.
  • The book is written in the format of a school assignment, so children will identify with the personal essay form.
  • Boys and girls should both enjoy the book.


  • While I enjoyed both books, I didn’t like the mom-character in the book at first. (She gets better).
  • I must admit that I liked the movie version of the story better, but the books are still worth reading.

Final Word


Recommended for a fun read. Definitely a series of the home (or school) library.

Discussion Questions

  1. While the movie Home and the book The True Meaning of Smekday started similarly, the stories themselves ended up going in different directions. What did you like better about the movie? What did you like better about the book?
  2. If a catastrophe separated you from your family, what would you do? Who would you go to for help?
  3. What did you think was the funniest part of the book?
  4. Who was your favorite character, and why?
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Lisa Godfrees
Lisa Godfrees is fascinated with creatures that don't exist, especially jackalopes. Cactus cats are a close second. When not searching for elusive mythological beasts, she types middle-grade and YA fantasy. Read her short stories for free at

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