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Stuck on Earth Hardcover – March 16, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-9-On a mission to evaluate Earth and determine whether or not its dominate species (Homo sapiens) will be allowed to continue or will be exterminated (quickly and painlessly, of course) so a more deserving race can have the planet, Ketchvar III, a snail-like superintelligent being inhabits the body of a 14-year-old boy so he can experience human existence up close and personal. Horrified by his host's dysfunctional family, incarceration in a mind-numbing environment (high school), and the bullying of other students, Ketchvar has nearly written off humans for good when he meets the girl next door. Humorous misunderstandings and poignant moments with his host's alcoholic father and bitter mother save this from being just another "people have ruined the planet; let's get rid of them and start over" book. Ketchvar's social gaffs and misconceptions provide some laugh-out-loud moments as do his internal dialogues with his reluctant host. Though no new ground is broken, Stuck on Earth will resonate with kids who feel like aliens in their own homes.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Before being vaporized by a Gagnerian Death Ray, humans (aka “the laughingstock of the universe”) get a last chance to prove their worth when superintelligent alien Ketchvar III arrives for an evaluation. The size of a snail, Ketchvar crawls into the nose and inhabits the brain of 14-year-old Tom, a bullied nerd living in suburban New Jersey. In theory, this gives Ketchvar the opportunity to operate covertly, though his stiff new speech patterns have everyone thinking Tom’s acting even weirder than normal (“Let us live in harmony, like the moss and the lichen,” he implores his bratty sister). Between the shocking violence of the “voluntary daily incarceration” known as school and examinations into the “empty constructs” of war and love, Ketchvar reports to his mothership via e-mails with subject headings like “Old Hip-Hop Songs That Sucked.” Klass even manages to work in an effective environmental message. There are no major surprises—the sweet “earth girl next door” wins Earth another chance—but that doesn’t hamper this fast-moving and irascible comedy. Grades 6-9. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 6 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374399514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374399511
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
At first glance, this looks to be a typical Alien comedy. I mean, alien comes to Earth to decide if mankind is in fact worth saving, is a story that anyone who has watched Star Trek or follows sci-fi at all has seen or read a zillion times. What makes this story different is that it also includes a story about school bullying, and a touching story about a family on the verge of collapse. Tom, whose body gets taken over by the alien Ketchvar, is 14 years old and is nicknamed "alien" at school because he's so different. It is ironic that only after he gets taken over by an actual alien does he begin to make friends with the "earth girl next door" and begin to find his true place at school, and re-establish his relationship with his father.

This was a good story that I think will be very popular with middle schoolers. Tom's family situation is pretty intense which I think might bother some kids (parts of his interactions with his mother were kind of hard for me to read), but all in all this is a big recommend for any middle schooler. It's not quite as funny as I was anticipating, but the great characters and the effective "green message" make it a read that will appeal to a wide variety of kids.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Talalay on April 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What to do, what to do when an alien stuns you, crawls up your nose into your brain, and takes control over your body. Ketchvar III (that nose surfing alien) has to do some recognizance for his planet to see if earth should be destroyed but he/it chose an awkward teenager as his vessel to study earthlings. The alien has to navigate a new world of zits, bullies, and teen love to determine the planet's fate. This chapter book was hilarious at times and poignant at others but readers might be slightly paranoid that falling asleep on a beach chair may lead to an alien nation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Kelly on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I found many parts of this book hilarious. I could not help but laugh out loud. Ketchvar, the alien who invades Tom's body is surprised to find out that he is inhabiting a body of a boy who's nickname is "Alien"! Just Ketchvar's luck. Ketchvar tries to blend in but with his formal language people start to wonder why Tom is acting like an alien. Everyday Ketchvar reports to his mothership but when this reports are sent to the entire student body, Ketchvar questions if he is really an alien or is it in his imagination?

This book was a refreshing change from the typical alien invasion story. Teens starting high school will be able to relate to the trials of fitting in at school and having a crush on the girl next door. There is even an environmental message on preserving the planet that fits nicely in the story.

Overall I thought this book was good and would interest both boys and girls.
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By Samantha McManus on February 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am a parent and a school librarian. That said: I purchased this book about a fourteen-year-old boy who is "taken over" by an alien life form in the alien's attempt to determine the value of humankind because it was on the recommended titles list developed by The Child Study Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College, which is no shabby group. It was recommended for students age 12 - 14. What the recommendation (along with others I found) did not say was that within the first 20 pages, you will encounter a colorful variety of curse words. Not the "big ticket" items, but most of them including that wonderful word women like to hear other women referred to because it is so esteem building...rhymes with witch if you're still guessing. These words did nothing to add to the story line and the only redeeming factor is that they were all said by the "bad guys" in the story. That said, this is a really good story about a boy who has been bullied and harassed his whole life, has a miserable home life, and really just wants to find his place in this world. His alien-on-board questions the worth of humankind but finds himself drawn to our plight, particularly the struggle through adolescence. Klass is able to weave a wonderful, sometimes witty and sometimes tragic, story that includes (to name a few) environmentalism, bullying, broken homes and how they can heal, and growing up. I really do think grades 7 though 9 or 10 would really enjoy the heart of the story but wish Klass had refrained from using the "bad words." They aren't needed and will certainly detract from his audience in the school library market.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book, I thought it was a great insight into the human comdition and just how misunderstood we are by others, I would recommend this and "You Dont Know Me" also by david klass, to most people over the age of thirteen, but be wary of the latter it gets incredibly intense and a littls disturbing
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