While Meggie and David Blue are from another planet, they're a lot like Earth kids, with similar hopes and dreams, and can't wait to grow up. BUT they also have GROSSLY UNIQUE qualities, such as blue streaks in their hair that pop up randomly and language skills that sound like nothing on this planet. The story takes these alien kids, along with their mother and grandfather, by accident, to a far planet in which the society is not only oppressive but hostile to individual freedom. People are kept submissive through drugs and brainwashing. The Blues, who have spent time in free societies recognize the upside-down-ness of this world. They're almost helpless to do anything, but do what they can, plan their escape, and vow to help others.
Readers familiar with White's oeuvre historical fiction written in a convincing Southern vernacular may be surprised by her latest. It starts out as standard White, with a single mother and her two kids enjoying simple country life, and then, whaddyaknow? it turns out they are aliens. What follows is a mild Orwellian tale that breaks no new ground. Meggie Blue's family blends in on Earth except for fluorescent blue streaks in their hair that they dye or hide under caps. They've already had to move once, from California to North Carolina, and now whispers about their odd speech and mannerisms force them to flee again. Leaving in a rush, they fumble the coordinates and arrive in Fashion City on an alternate Earth, where they are repeatedly told, "You'll like it here. Everybody does," and everybody is popping Lotus, a tranquilizer provided by "The Fathers." Though the revelations about the Fathers' governance get progressively darker, the overall tone is curiously amiable, and the vagueness of the villain saps the story of the menace it needs to build tension. Ages 9 12.