Crown Books for Young Readers: Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

We Are Here Forever

It's the future, and humans are gone from the planet, leaving behind all of their things, a mystery and what might just be the cutest little aliens ever to grace the pages of a graphic novel. Resembling something between a cat, a cartoon sedan and a pig, the Puramus are smart and friendly. But where did they come from and how? Michelle Gish's We Are Here Forever tells the story of these adorable creatures as they develop culture, explore human artifacts and consider whether or not to go to war with each other.

In chapters with headings like "King" and "War," Gish gives the reader snapshots of the Puramus through time, from Year Zero through Year 628. The Puramus initially eat everything in sight, frolic through fields of flowers and live in peace. Then they begin to use and build with the remnants of human civilization--constructing shelves, selecting a monarch, trying war. Finally, they think in the abstract, developing ideas about art and home and the quest for knowledge.

Gish occasionally drops hints that not everything is as peaceful and happy as it appears, however, and the mystery of how the Puramus came to be the only species on the planet (except for birds) is solved in a chapter that takes place in "Year ???" The book is an interesting study of humanity from the perspective of peace-loving alien creatures, who ask things such as, "Why did they have so much stuff?" --Suzanne Krohn, editor, Love in Panels