My Teacher Glows in the Dark is the third book in Bruce Coville's My Teacher series. While these books are written primarily for a 4th-6th grade audience, I as an adult have had a lot of fun reading them. I especially love Coville's way of presenting each story in the series. The series revolves around three pretty normal kids on Earth - the smart and brave Susan Simmons, nerdy dreamer Peter Thompson, and bully turned nice guy with newly-acquired brain-fried intelligence Duncan Dougal. Susan narrated the first book in the series, My Teacher is an Alien, wherein she discovers that her new teacher is an alien and joins up with Peter to stop him from kidnapping five students. Duncan narrated the second book, My Teacher Fried My Brains, in which we see inside his unhappy life, come to understand why he lashes out at people the way he does, and admire his effort to turn over a new leaf in life with the help of an artificially-advanced intelligence. Now, in My Teacher Glows in the Dark, it is Peter's turn to tell a part of the story.
While this is book three of the series, it actually fills in the gap separating books one and two. Peter left with the alien Broxholm at the end of book one and showed up back on earth at the end of book two, and now we get to hear what he has been doing up in space over the course of the earth's summer. I found this to be the most enjoyable book of the series so far; instead of dealing with an alien among humans, we now have a human among aliens, and this makes for a decidedly entertaining read. We meet all kinds of aliens, learn a few things about a few of their cultures, and get to see all kinds of alien technology in use. In addition to this, the human side of the story takes on much more significance. As luck would have it, the Interplanetary Council is debating whether or not to destroy Earth, and Peter finds himself smack dab in the middle of trying to save the world he left behind. Peter's friendships with several aliens on board the ship are really quite touching, as is his passion for doing whatever he, a boy of about twelve, can do to save his home planet.
With the action taking place in space, there is a much stronger science fiction element to this book than its predecessors, leading me to believe that many a young reader would simply eat this book up. With new and increasingly unusual aliens waiting around every corner, futuristic machines doing amazing things all over the place, and Earth's future hanging precariously in the balance, My Teacher Glows in the Dark sets the stage for a most promising climax in the fourth and final book of the series, My Teacher Flunked the Planet.