- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Press (November 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0545060826
- ISBN-13: 978-0545060820
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,255,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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First Day on Earth Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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Praise for First Day on Earth:
"Castellucci crafts a gloomy and quirky metaphorical piece about being a misfit... [First Day on Earth] is touching and, most importantly, believable within the universe of these characters." -Quill & Quire
"A simple, tender work that speaks to the alien in all of us." -Kirkus
"The prose is spare but dense, lyrical and strongly emotive, and younger teens will find the story accessible and affecting even as older readers can revel in its emotional complexity and thematic sophistication...Ultimately, it hardly matters whether the aliens are real or metaphorical; it is Mal's earthly journey that will grab readers' hearts." -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
About the Author
Top customer reviews
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Cecil Castellucci does an amazing job of capturing a male voice. Our narrator is Mal, a guy in high school who went missing for three days when he was younger. He discovers an alien abductees' support group and starts to put pieces of his life together. Mal is an amazing character. I was surprised by his struggles and seeking for self-understanding, while on the journey to understand the world around him. The story captures much of what it means to be on the fringe in high school or life, to be different, to be other and in such a way that that is not a bad thing, if you are being true to yourself.
This book was written by an author I discovered only last year. I have since read all her novels. With each book of hers that I read or reread, I am challenged into looking at who I am and who I want to be. This book did that to an even greater extent. This is an amazing read as a story, and if you let it challenge you, it can also be a tool for so much more. Well done yet again Miss Cecil!
Mal is an interesting character. His dad left the family, his mother is an alcoholic, he has no friends, he was abducted by aliens. Basically, if anyone had an excuse for feeling sorry for themselves, it'd be him. But he managed to capture my attention not through any sob story but through his dry humor, outlook on life and observations of high school in general, and perception of the Earth's importance in the wide expanse of space. Yeah, for a kid with so many issues, he manages to be pretty deep.
Then he meets Hooper, and everything gets both funnier and worse as time goes on. Mal has to deal with himself, wondering if he's going crazy, remember how to interact with humans, discover his own wants and needs and dreams. It's wonderful.
I loved how the outcasts were portrayed in this book. How Mal had two `friends' because they were all the odd ones out, so they banded together so they would never be the only one sitting alone. Perfection, because that's exactly how things in high school work. Strength in numbers and all that. Especially when he notes that they're not really friends but hang out anyway. And how even the popular kids had their dissenters. And the boy who will like or say anything just to fit in for a few brief moments. I think everyone knows someone like that guy.
What I'm trying to say is, although this book is short, it still packs a punch and leaves you thinking. It's definitely worth the read and I definitely recommend that you pick it up!
Mal is a 16 year old who lives with his alcoholic mother. He wishes he could make his mom better, but wants to run away from her at the same time. Throughout the book, Mal talks about his dad leaving them four years earlier with a lot of anger and hurt. He goes to a support group for it and accidently ends up sitting in a group for people who claim they have been abducted. Mal then admits when he was 12, right after his dad left, he went missing for three days and was found in the desert miles away. Doctors believe he had a seizure and wandered off, but he did not want to tell them he thought he was abducted by aliens because he did not want to be labeled as crazy. In the group, he meets a man who claims that he is an alien who had been sent to Earth to observe humans, but he decides that humans are not important enough to be studied further, so he is going home. Mal and his two friends take the man to the desert where he offers to take Mal back with him and shows Mal his true alien form. Mal decides to stay because he now has a different outlook on life after seeing the true alien form, making it his "First Day on Earth."
Most recent customer reviews
WORLD-BUILDING: The world-building is not extreme, as it is set in a typical present-day...Read more
First Day on Earth is very quick read, but it packs a lot of punch in its 150 pages. It's also quite different than what I expected.Read more