Only You Can Save Mankind: If Not You, Who Else?
This is a rerelease of the first title in the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy. Only You Can Save Mankind: If Not you, Who Else? by Terry Pratchett is the story of a twelve-year old whose got problems. His parents are on the verge of divorce, television is full of news and footage of the first Gulf War, and he's hooked on a computer game called Only You Can Save Mankind. The copy of the game he's playing is on a disc he obtained from a friend. Not an authorized copy.
Anyway, Johnny is literally pulled into the game and the reality of the aliens, the ScreeWee, who are the enemy. When the aliens surrender to him, something that is not supposed to happen, he must find a way to lead the entire ScreeWee fleet to safety - in game space, an alternate reality.
There is an introduction by the author, Terry Pratchett, explaining the changes made to bring this story up-to-date. I found it a rather interesting and quick read. Interesting in how a boy who enjoys blasting the alien enemy becomes responsible for their safety.
Let's talk about this one and the obvious messages here about warfare, people, aliens, gender differences, and friendships.