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Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius (Journals of a Cardboard Genius) Paperback – February 1, 2006
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is about a boy named Alex who has a keen interest in scientific invention, a healthy ego, and a pesky six-year-old brother named Jonathan. In order to get away from Jonathan, the bane of his existence, Alex decides to build a spaceship out of cardboard boxes, and travel across the universe. Using odds and ends from around his house, he invents all of the necessary trappings for space travel: the ship, the space suit, the oxygen generator, the atom slider, and the micro blaster (you'll have to read the book for the details). But before Alex can leave town (yes, the spaceship really does fly), Jonathan reveals his own capacity for invention, and throws a wrench into the works.
I think that this book will have considerable appeal for young boys, thanks to the details of the spaceship and the other inventions. I think that for boys who have annoying younger brothers, the book may be irresistible. The sibling rivalry is realistically depicted, as are the caring psychologist parents. I personally found Alex's ego a bit off-putting (he keeps going on about what a genius he is), but I think that the book's target audience will be able to relate to this.
What I love about this book are the illustrations. This is a chapter book, but scattered throughout the text are small black and white illustrations, drawings from Alex's journal. My favorite is a map of the universe, labeled "me" at one end, and "Jonathan" at the other end. Anyone who has ever had a younger sibling will immediately relate to this drawing.Read more ›
I like this book because it was about space. I would recommend this book to a 7 year old who is an advanced reader. Anyone who is interested in science and space will like this book. review written by a 7 year old boy
My 6 year old (1st gr.) is a bit of a reluctant reader, but he liked us reading these books to him enough to give them a shot at reading them himself. There's a number of big science-ey words that are beyond him, but the material seems to keep him interested and trying, a couple pages at a time.
I read Star Jumper and Gravity Buster to him in back-to-back fashion in one week this past summer, then decided to save Time Twister for a "rainy day". I can say that these two books were not merely great entertainment, but that they also significantly altered the outward manifestation of the inventor mindset that he has always carried within him. He has been energized by Alex's creativity, and has built several inventions out of cardboard following the reading of each of these books.
I started reading Time Twister to him this afternoon, and I am truly looking forward to seeing the expected burst of creativity that this reading will almost certainly bring about again this time.
I especially appreciate how Alex's imaginary inventions have a great deal of basis in scientific fact and theory. Asch's writings have given the two of us an opportunity to discuss theories that my grandson might otherwise not have been exposed to for several years to come. I like to think that the discussions that we have had centering around Alex's inventions have given him some ideas of where he could focus his inventor's interests later in life.
My only regret is that after reading this book, there is nothing left in this genre to look forward to in Asch's writings. I am heartened, however, by his website that teases that he is writing another science fiction book, though not following the cardboard genius model. I can only say that my grandson and I are anxiously awaiting its release!
PS I also plan to have my grandson read a few pages of Time Twister to me. Up to now, he has been a "closet" reader (i.e.Read more ›
I liked the fact that it put an emphasis on intelligence, creativity and inventing. Both of my boys made ships out of cardboard for days after. There were also some absurd situations reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbes comics where Calvin is using his imagination and creating inventions that my boys loved.
The things I thought were gratuitous were:
- The constant name-calling was a bit much (and I'm not a prude). It was funny, but I did notice my 7 year old drawing name-calling inspiration from the protagonist of this story and by the end of the book it was a bit monotonous.
- The fact that there was a love interest (albeit an innocent and silly one) was totally unneeded in a children's book.
The bottom line: with a few minor caveats, this is a great one for kids and adults alike.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My 8 year old son loves this, read it all in one day, and started rereading it the next day! He could relate to it with sibling rivalry, imagination, and adventure, perfect for... Read morePublished 19 months ago by j.b.cst
My son laughed a lot with this title as it's funny but doesn't have a negative character like Greg in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Read morePublished 24 months ago by L. A. P. Badolato
My kids really enjoy the details in this book - they are avid space buffs and this caught and kept their interest.Published on December 25, 2013 by A4Q96
I thought this was a pretty fun book that encourages creativity, imagination, scientific experimentation, and ingenuity. Read morePublished on March 25, 2013 by Mamma Ro
I know that this is a kids book. And we've loved other books by the same author. I know he was trying to show the frustration of the older brother with the younger brother. Read morePublished on March 11, 2011 by Amazon Customer
I just finished reading this with my daughter (almost 5 years old). We both loved it - it was hard to put down after just one chapter a night! Read morePublished on October 28, 2010 by SMH
I thought it was time to introduce my 5 year old to chapter books. He was bored with his picture books at bed time. Read morePublished on August 10, 2010 by Nancy Dark
My 8 year old son and I LOVED this book and can't wait to read the others in the series.Published on May 19, 2009 by Leslie