I personally thought this book would be greatly enjoyed by 8 to 12 year olds. Parents should also like this book it has American History, Hygeine, morals, as well as adventure, action and a very cute story.
In the book Alien QB9 is from a planet called Zoot. On Zoot day is night, and adults go to school while kids go to work, they do not eat and they use math to get whatever they want. QB9 is desperate to have a friend. For his 10th birthday his parents give him a wish-a-ma-jig where he wishes for a friend, the wish-a-ma-jig shows him the picture of a Earth Girl and tells him to go to Earth and find her. QB takes the family spaceship and goes on his adventure to the planet Earth with his pet and a computer who wants to be called Benni to get his friend. When they land on Earth QB9 uses the name Du Jour, he goes to school and meets Afton (the Girl the wish-a-ma-jig showed him) but she is actually a robot working for the Government finding aliens. The Secret Service men come after him, he grabs his friend the Robot and Benni and make a run for it back to the spaceship. They finally escape and head back to Zoot. I don't want to add to many spoilers but it is a Great Book for your 8 to 12 year old.