Bailey School Kids #7: Aliens Don't Wear Braces

by Debbie Dadey

Other authorsJohn Steven Gurney (Illustrator)
Paperback, 1993



Local notes

PB Dad





Scholastic Paperbacks (1993), Edition: 25th Printing, 80 pages


Strange doings seem to erupt whenever Mrs. Zork, the substitute art teacher shows up, in this most far-out adventure yet about the fun-filled Bailey School kids.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

80 p.; 5.25 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member chardesty06
Early Chapter Book/Science Fiction

This is a good example of a science fiction early chapter book, because the story centers around strange, "out of this world" events. The students at Bailey School think they have an alien for a substitute teacher, which remains a mystery through the end of the
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book. The students' curiosity and interest in the fact that they have an alien for a teacher is very realistic, but the fact that the teacher is from another planet, is unbelievable.
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LibraryThing member benuathanasia
A silly series that creates more questions than it answers. It's great for formulating theories as well as predictions. The class dynamics should be very familiar to those of the Magic School Bus generation.
LibraryThing member nmhale
Strange events are stirring at Bailey School, and this time it's all about aliens. The art teacher disappears, a strange humming noise rattles the class, and a substitute teacher with a specialty in art just happens to be waiting in the principal's office, all on the same day. Eddie thinks Mrs.
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Zork is odd from the beginning, but he is still the skeptic when Howie claims that she is an alien. Howie is sure that she arrived in her spaceship to steal the color from their town, a claim supported by the fact that the day she showed up she was startlingly pale and white, and each day since her color has improved while the colors around her are fading. In particular, she seems to target particular people for colors that she really wants. Liza and Melody tend to believe Eddie over Howie, but as the strange occurrences keep stacking up, they are increasingly unsettled. When Mrs. Zork touches Mrs. Jeepers' green brooch and the teacher rushes home, feeling drained, the kids know they need to act or be stuck with their principal as substitute for the rest of the year.

As a beginning reader chapter book, the story is short, with small chapters that are easy to read. The narrative never feels stilted, using a variety of recognizable and challenging vocabulary words, and the sentences are diverse but not complex. The Bailey School series is a fun choice for early readers, because the content is one that fascinates most kids (monsters and the supernatural), while the setting is a place they all know well (school). In this book, the four friends take on an alien from outer space, who is sufficiently mysterious and spooky without being too scary - she is only draining color, after all. As with other books in this series, the authors leave the answer about whether the teacher really is a creature unanswered, and the reader has to use her own judgment. Given the clues dropped, Mrs. Zork is clearly an alien. Still, the fun in the series is that kids have to make their own decisions, and since their power of inference is not as mature, there are sure to be children who fall on either side of the debate. Certainly a good choice for children embarking on chapter books, that will satisfy them and their fellow adult readers.
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LibraryThing member villemezbrown
It's X-Files babies as third graders of Bailey Elementary School take on the substitute art teacher who may be a color-draining alien.

I can sort of see the appeal of the supernatural element to children, but most of the kid characters in the book are exceedingly bland except for the very irritating
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bad boy, Eddie.
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(18 ratings; 3.4)
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