Bongo Fishing by Thatcher Hurd. 240 p. Henry Holt and Co. Releases February 1.
I swiped the image from the author's website and swiped the synopsis from Amazon (curiously, BN doesn't have it on theirs, but I'm planing to get it from my local indie).
Jason has a pretty normal life: he lives with his mom, he goes to school, he does his homework. But when he meets a short, bluish alien named Sam, his life begins to seem much less normal and a lot more...well, alien. Sam takes Jason bongo fishing in space, and a whole new world opens up.
But when Jason's cat, Sputnik, disappears, things start to get a little weird. Interstellar travel isn't just fun and games, after all! Is the evil Dr. Zimburger involved? Or are there even more sinister forces at work?
Personally, I'm always on the lookout not only for good middle grade fiction, but also good middle grade sci/fi or fantasy. Here's a link to the trailer. Looks good, doesn't it?