Published by Walden Pond Press on June 20th 2017
Award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce returns with another one-of-a-kind story of heart, humor, and finding one’s place in the universe.
Prez knows that the best way to keep track of things is to make a list. That's important when you have a grandfather who is constantly forgetting. And it's even more important when your grandfather can't care for you anymore and you have to go live with a foster family out in the country.
Prez is still learning to fit in at his new home when he answers the door to meet Sputnik—a kid who is more than a little strange. First, he can hear what Prez is thinking. Second, he looks like a dog to everyone except Prez. Third, he can manipulate the laws of space and time. Sputnik, it turns out is an alien, and he's got a mission that requires Prez's help: the Earth has been marked for destruction, and the only way they can stop it is to come up with ten reasons why the planet should be saved.
Thus begins one of the most fun and eventful summers of Prez's life, as he and Sputnik set out on a journey to compile the most important list Prez has ever made—and discover just what makes our world so remarkable.
Prez is in a Temporary – a home just for the summer – when Sputnik shows up and is a talking alien with a backpack. Except his temporary family all thinks he is a dog. It takes Prez a while to figure it out. Sputnik has been sent by Laika to help save Earth – by making a list with Prez of the top 10 things that makes Earth worth saving. Obviously not wanting his world to be shrunk, he decides he must help Sputnik realize what is so great about earth. All the while, he is wanting his grandfather – who he helped by putting post it notes all over so he would remember.
I love that Sputnik takes on a little bit of Prez, always has a backpack and has a mission. Prez also doesn’t talk much, but luckily Sputnik can read minds! I was a bit thrown off by the lingo and realized the setting was more British than I originally realized. Lots of “mums” and other words that felt a bit strange even if logical. Like using Temporary instead of Foster Care for example. As a school librarian, I think this would be a bit of a different culture with an interesting way to present family problems and situations.
Overall, I really enjoyed all the adventures, the crazy things Sputnik did and the message deep down. A sweet book about the importance of family with some sci-fi elements to give it more draw and fun situations.
About the Author
Frank Cottrell Boyce is the author of Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth, The Astounding Broccoli Boy, Cosmic, Framed, and Millions, the last of which was a New York Times bestseller and was made into a movie by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. His books have won or been nominated for numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, and the Whitbread Children’s Book Award. Frank is also a screenwriter, having penned the scripts for a number of feature films as well as the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. He lives in Liverpool with his family.
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Courtesy of Walden Pond Press one winner will receive a finished copy of Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth.
Open to US only.
Ends July 1st.