Area 51 is the military facility located in southern Nevada and managed by the U.S. Air Force. Conspiracy theories have piled up over the years that extraterrestrial life is a part of this iconic place. The humans there may not appreciate the extra attention the first title in this new series will bring, but middle grade kids won’t care and should thoroughly enjoy a fun mystery.

For starters you meet Sky, the 12-year-old narrator, as she describes her first moments at Area 51. Grandma can’t take care of her anymore after moving to a retirement community and now it’s up to Uncle Anish to take over. He lives inside Area 51 and once there you can never leave.

It’s not long before Sky realizes there are aliens everywhere (or as they are called inside Area 51: Break Throughs). They include her new friend Elvis, who looks like a normal boy about her age but appears different to each human interacting with him. Together they try and discover who helped a group of Break Throughs escape. All signs point to Sky’s Uncle but she feels certain it has to be someone else.

Full of puns and jokes, the tale moves along at a nice pace. Text is enhanced with creative illustrations like the one on the cover. Images inside the pages of THE AREA 51 FILES will for sure make you smile. The mystery is wrapped up nicely by the end, but more alien/human fun will be forthcoming in a book 2.

Lighthearted and perfect for those needing a break from the more serious novels.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: September 13, 2022 PAGE COUNT: 304


  1. Humorous names for the adult characters and alien groups are a perfect draw for middle grade readers. Flatulence is the key here, need I say more?
  2. A great entry into the world of science fiction books for young readers.
  3. Family and friendships are a central component. Sky’s own thoughts about the mother she never knew were written beautifully.
  4. Looking beyond your initial perceptions of others and learning the truth is an important thread throughout.
  5. Silly and different, exactly what we need more of in books for kids.


Julie Buxbaum is the New York Times best selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, What to Say Next and most recently, Hope and Other Punchlines. She’s also the author of two critically acclaimed novels for adults: The Opposite of Love and After You. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. She is a former lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, and more books than is reasonable. Visit Julie online at and follow @juliebux on Twitter.


Comments are welcome below. Be sure to visit all the other MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY Posts!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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9 Responses to THE AREA 51 FILES

  1. This sounds like a great story with the combination of science fiction and humor. It sounds like a winner for kids.

  2. Sounds a fun read, and I love the illustrations (I had a sneak peek!) Thanks for the review!

  3. It’s about time a story comes out about Area 51 — especially since the government acknowledged the existences of UFOs in March 2020 and Project Blue Book information. Nice to see a fun mystery. But, if YOU want to know more, look up “The UFO Witness” with Ben Hansen on the Travel Channel — recorded his series in 2021 and 2022 there. You can purchase on the Amazon. ( I worked in PR at WPAFB and public calls about Area 51 and UFO sightings were always sent to my division. Referred up appropriate channels. Glad that FOIA is finally releasing information. I have a lot of respect for Ben Hansen’s programs and research the last few years.

  4. carolbaldwin says:

    Thanks for your review. I’m sure lots of MG kids will LOVE this book!

  5. Brenda says:

    What an engaging cover and seems like a very fun premise. I bet the illustrations are wonderful too. Have a lovely week.

  6. Area 51 is certainly an interesting topic. I like the idea of a “kid?” named Elvis who appears differently to different people.

  7. If it has Area 51 in it, I’m probably going to read it. This sounds like a whole lot of fun. Thanks for the heads up.

  8. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:


  9. Pingback: AREA 51 INTERNS – ZONED OUT | Always in the Middle…

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