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No Child Left Behind
In this semi-comic coming of age story featuring neurodiverse protagonists, loner Geoff would do anything to avoid starting high school zonked on ADHD drugs or banished to Special Ed. Lord Kemp, leader of a band of refugee meta-humans fleeing genocide in a parallel universe, would do anything to keep his expedition hidden in the hills of Geoff's rural hometown. Facing foes bigger than either of them, Geoff and Lord Kemp must overcome their mutual prejudices to accept help from untrustworthy "aliens": each other.
In this unconventional near-future novel, attorney Casser brings together a small municipality’s educational boondoggles with possible mass extinction. Geoff Moraine is a young student struggling with a learning disability and in desperate need of proper educational support. He has a vivid imagination, but even he couldn’t have envisioned aliens from a parallel universe buying a hilltop estate in Pennsylvania to turn into a boarding school. The school is camouflage for their true objective of building weapons to wipe out the “snouts” who are conquering their home planet of Fulgora. Lord Kemp of the Fulgorans unfortunately hasn’t heard of zoning laws, which prevent the development of a school on that hill, and Geoff’s mom has to step in and use her legal know-how to help the Fulgorans save their world. Mrs. Moraine’s brilliant solution solves Geoff’s problem as well as the aliens’: if the Fulgorans take on teaching the high-level special-ed kids, that could sway the zoning commission’s approval. Now they just have to get around the No Child Left Behind laws. Casser’s fanciful invective against the educational system’s quirks mixes weirdly with annihilation-focused SF. The prose is solid; the plot is bemusing. (BookLife)
Readers' Favorite

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

No Child Left Behind by Claudia Casser is one of the most unique approaches in Young Adult science fiction I have ever read. Teens will love it. Adults will love it. I loved it. The writing is great. The characters are very believable and easy to care about. You just keep reading naturally because everything flows. I was hooked from the first chapter. I have read a lot of science fiction, but I had never read a story from the particular angle of aliens from another universe who look enough like humans to blend into our society, consulting with a lawyer in order to avoid pitfalls and remain low key. It is a brilliant idea if you have the right characters for it, and Claudia Casser pulls it off with flair.

Geoff has ADD. He avoids taking his medication because he hates the zoned out state it puts him in. He is a very smart and very likable young man with a very nice and understanding mother. I wanted to know where this story would take them from the moment they met the aliens and I wanted them to come out on top. The plot is great. The characters are great, from the main ones to the minor ones out on the periphery. Everyone contributes to the story and moves the plot along. If you are into Young Adult sci-fi at all, do yourself a favor and buy No Child Left Behind. It is simply one of the best stories I have ever read.