Cover image for Ambassador
Alexander, William (William Joseph), 1976-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, [2014]
Physical Description:
222 pages ; 22 cm
Appointed Earth's ambassador to the universe, twelve-year-old Gabe Fuentes faces two sets of "alien" problems when he discovers his parents are illegal aliens and face deportation and the Earth is in the path of a destructive alien force causing multiple mass extinctions.
Reading Level:
690 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.1 6.0 168920.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.3 10 Quiz: 63420.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Audubon Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Dudley Branch Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Elma Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
Newstead Library J FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Gabe Fuentes is in for the ride of his life when he becomes Earth's ambassador to the galaxy in this otherworldly adventure from the National Book Award-winning author of Goblin Secrets .

Gabe Fuentes is reading under the covers one summer night when he is interrupted by a creature who looks like a purple sock puppet. The sock puppet introduces himself as the Envoy and asks if Gabe wants to be Earth's ambassador to the galaxy. What sane eleven-year-old could refuse?

Some ingenious tinkering with the washing machine sends Gabe's "entangled" self out to the center of the galaxy. There he finds that Earth is in the path of a destructive alien force--and Gabe himself is the target of an assassination plot. Exactly who wants him out of the way? And why?

Back home, Gabe discovers that his undocumented parents are in danger of being deported. Can Gabe survive long enough to solve two sets of "alien" problems? He runs for his life, through Minneapolis and outer space, in this fast-paced adventure from a National Book Award-winning author.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

When Gabe and his best friend, Frankie, accidentally scorch his backyard in an ill-fated rocket experiment, his biggest problem is Frankie's furious mother. But after the Envoy, an amorphous purple blob, appoints Gabe as Earth's ambassador, his troubles get galactic. Using some basement appliances and a teeny black hole, the Envoy constructs a machine that sends Gabe to the Embassy, a giant playground full of other kid ambassadors, where he must diplomatically uncover clues about the ships surreptitiously entering his solar system. That would be plenty for 11-year-old Gabe, but back on Earth, his parents undocumented immigrants from Guadalajara have been caught, and his father is going to be deported. Gabe is a clever and capable peacekeeper, both at home and among the other alien ambassadors, and he handily navigates his intergalactic activities without resorting to violence. National Book Award-winning Alexander (Goblin Secrets, 2012) injects meaningful depth into an exciting sci-fi adventure, perceptively exploring what it means to be alien while avoiding a heavy-handed message. The ending is abrupt, but it happily signals a sequel.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Envoy doesn't exactly rank as charismatic megafauna. It's an amorphous purple blob who's been stuck on the moon for a few decades and is now on Earth and stalking Gabe Fuentes. Why? Earth needs an ambassador to "everyone else," and the Envoy believes Gabe is the perfect 11-year-old for the job, despite some reservations about his age: "The previous ambassador was younger." Gabe accepts the job with little ado, and the Envoy "entangles" him in a form of interstellar transport that manifests in Gabe's dreams. The alien-adventure part of National Book Award-winner Alexander's (Goblin Secrets) first SF story is played for gentle humor: Gabe is a good observer and a willing scapegoat for friends and family alike when trouble brews, and diplomacy and ridiculousness are effective tests of those traits. Less lighthearted is the plight of Gabe's parents, who are undocumented immigrants-aliens of an altogether different variety. The topical real-world plot sits uneasily with the galactic Dr. Who shenanigans in a story that feels too short to adequately address either. A sequel is planned. Ages 8-12. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-While reading in his room, Gabe Fuentes is visited by an Envoy, an amorphous being that resembles a sock puppet, minus the eyes. It informs the 11-year-old that he has been chosen as Earth's ambassador and must discover why there are alien aircraft in the solar system. Thus begins an action-packed adventure for the hero and his plucky companion that's full of unusual creatures and one very menacing ambassador, Omegan of the Outlast. In the midst of their various escapades, Gabe's parents are detained by immigration authorities and face deportation, along with his older sister, for residing in the U.S. illegally. Alexander compares the relationship between aliens in other worlds with the plight of illegal immigrants in ours. There is no doubt where Alexander's sympathies lie and the tone becomes didactic, which may leave readers weary. The political commentary dilutes a promising tale of adventure.-Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joseph, MI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Ambassador 1 The Envoy tossed itself at the world. An ambassador's business had left it stranded on the moon for years and decades. During all that time it tried to patch together a return capsule from Soviet equipment abandoned on the surface. But this had never actually worked, and now it needed to hurry, so it gave up on the capsule and built a cannon instead. Then the Envoy aimed itself and its cannon at the world. This was not the tricky part. Moving through vacuum for several days was not the tricky part either. The Envoy had no ship, no craft, no transportation. It had only itself: the spherical, purple transparency of its own substance. It clenched its outer layers, becoming glass-like to bounce radiation away and keep itself from dehydrating. But it remained clear enough to let light in. All of it was sensitive to light. It was its own big, purple eyeball. The Envoy watched the approaching planet with all of itself, and enjoyed the view. The nightside of the globe grew large ahead. Constellations of bright and artificial light stretched out across landmasses. The Envoy expected to land in Russia again, or possibly in China, but North America stretched out below it. The first hints of atmosphere scraped against its skin. The Envoy winced. This was going to hurt. This would be the tricky part. The Envoy became a blind eye, opaque, closing itself and all its senses. The view was about to become too searingly bright to appreciate. Air turned to plasma against the friction of the Envoy's passage. It shed several layers of scorched self. Then it slowed down by expanding, thinning its substance against air currents like the stretched skin of a flying squirrel or a flying fish or a flying squid. It became its own parachute--though it didn't slow down nearly as much as a real parachute would have. The Envoy tumbled into a rough glide. It became transparent again, letting light pass through it, trying to see where it was going and what it was falling toward. It failed to see very much. The Envoy smacked into a small pond in an urban park. The noise and splash startled several geese, ducks, catfish, and turtles. It sank into the mud and muck at the very bottom and felt itself gradually cool, losing the sting of impact. It needed time to collect itself--though not literally, for which it was grateful. Its substance remained in one single piece. A few curious fish tried to nibble the Envoy. It tried to ignore them. Then it made a limb and shoed them away. Finally it stretched out and relearned how to swim. It had been a long time since the Envoy had lived in an aquatic environment, but now it remembered how to wave and ripple like a manta ray. It swam up to the surface of the pond. There it carefully observed the shore, the surrounding park, and the playgrounds. The Envoy spent many days floating and recovering from planetfall before it noticed Gabriel Sandro Fuentes. Excerpted from Ambassador by William Alexander All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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