Stuck on Earth

( 13 )

Overview

Ketchvar III’s mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvar—who, to human eyes, looks just like a common snail—crawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimen—fourteen years old, good health, above average intelligence. But it soon becomes apparent that Tom Filber may be a little too average—gawky, awkward, and utterly ...

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Stuck on Earth

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Overview

Ketchvar III’s mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvar—who, to human eyes, looks just like a common snail—crawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimen—fourteen years old, good health, above average intelligence. But it soon becomes apparent that Tom Filber may be a little too average—gawky, awkward, and utterly abhorred by his peers. An alien within an alien’s skin, Ketchvar quickly finds himself wrapped up in the daily drama of teenage life—infuriating family members, raging bullies, and undeniably beautiful next-door neighbors. And the more entangled Ketchvar becomes, the harder it is to answer the question he was sent to Earth to resolve: Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good? Or is it possible that Homo sapiens really are worth saving?

Wickedly wry and hysterically skewed, David Klass’s take on teen life on our fabulously flawed Planet Earth is an engrossing look at true friends, truer enemies, and awkward alien first kisses.

Stuck on Earth is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A witty and penetrating satire of American life.” The New York Times Book Review

“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 . . . . Stuck on Earth will resonate with kids who feel like aliens in their own homes.” –Starred, School Library Journal

Klass's (the Caretaker Trilogy) thoughtful, often wrenching book offers plenty to think about, from what's really going on in Tom's head to questions about human responsibility to the planet and each other.” —Starred, Publishers Weekly

Ketchvar’s adventure will win fans.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Touching, weird, relevant, and a great piece of storytelling, STUCK ON EARTH is a uber-quirky middle school favorite in the making."  –Richie Partington, Richie's Picks

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
Publishers Weekly
When an alien snail named Ketchvar III takes over 14-year-old Tom Filber's body, he tends to agree with Galactic Confederation ethicists that “we owe it to weak and vulnerable Homo sapiens to euthanize the species” before humans destroy the environment and themselves. But even though he suffers high school at its worst, he is inspired by some people he meets—a lonely neighbor; his passionate environmental club adviser—and begins drawing another conclusion. Ketchvar's cerebral narration is the book's hallmark (“My new theory is that school serves the purpose of narrowing the horizons of young Homo sapiens and conditioning them to accept mediocrity”); it becomes increasingly moving as the question arises of whether Ketchvar is real or if this is a construct Tom uses to deal with his disintegrating home life and general unhappiness. The narrator's well-timed surveillance of a polluting paint factory is too convenient, but Klass's (the Caretaker Trilogy) thoughtful, often wrenching book offers plenty to think about, from what's really going on in Tom's head to questions about human responsibility to the planet and each other. It takes “alienation” to a whole new level. Ages 11–14. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
The Galactic Confederation is nothing if not fair. Before they commit to annihilating the human race, they'll send an emissary to ensure it is without redemption. Ketchvar III, a hyperintelligent snail from the planet Sandoval, is determined to find the worth of the human race by merging consciousness with the most typical specimen of humanity he can find. That specimen is Tom Filber, "Caucasian, fourteen years old, and in good health." But perhaps Ketchvar has chosen poorly: Tom's mother is a violent, shrewish woman, his father is an unemployed alcoholic and his classmates-though ignorant of Ketchvar-all refer to Tom as "Alien." Are humans truly vile, or has Ketchvar chosen a particularly dysfunctional family to analyze? Not surprisingly, Ketchvar's study of humanity becomes a life lesson for Ketchvar himself, as he tries to fix some of the problems in Tom's family and town. Despite hackneyed gender stereotypes and a cast of stock characters, the painful humor (or perhaps the humorous pain) of Ketchvar's adventure will win fans. (Science fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374399511
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 3/16/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 227
  • Sales rank: 480,342
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

David Klass has written several novels for teens, including the books in the Caretaker Trilogy, the first of which, Firestorm, was declared “tremendous fun to read” by The New York Times Book Review, and the second of which, Whirlwind, was proclaimed by The Miami Herald as “Truly intelligent storytelling for teens.” He is also the author of You Don’t Know Me, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Dark Angel, an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults, as well as several screenplays. He lives in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

1

We are skimming over the New Jersey countryside in full search mode, hunting a fourteen-year-old. Our shields are up, and no humans can possibly spot us, even with the aid of their primitive “radar” and “sonar” technologies.

Earth’s lone moon is in the sky above us. This is indeed a pretty planet. I can see why the Lugonians, whose sun is about to supernova, covet it. Beneath us are dwelling places known as “houses” separated by expanses of unused space termed “lawns” that convey status on property owners by showing how much land they can afford to waste.

A target subject has just been identified! The circumstances are favorable for an extraction—he is sitting alone eating a “snack”—an unnecessary meal that is known to be unhealthy and is consumed at odd hours. It falls under the category of addictive behavior that most Homo sapiens find impossible to resist.

Cellular spectroscopy is positive. This specimen is Caucasian, fourteen years old, and in good health. Weak areas appear to be the teeth, where a metallic correction device known as “braces” has been fastened, and the eyes, where ocular aids called “glasses” have been appended with the help of two plastic rods hooked around the ears.

Brain scans show an above average human intelligence quotient, with particularly high cognitive and imaginative ability. A probe of long-term memory reveals that the specimen is named Tom Filber, he lives with his parents in a small house on Beech Avenue, and he has a sister named Sally with whom he is in a constant state of conflict that sometimes escalates into violence.

All systems are go! The Preceptor Supervisor has just approved the extraction. I, Ketchvar III, prepare myself to inhabit the body and mind of an infinitely lower life-form. I remind myself that my mission is vitally necessary—we must decide soon if the human species should be preserved or wiped out. We drop low in our ship till we are hovering above the chimney of 330 Beech Avenue.

We have just established direct visual surveillance of the specimen. He is sitting on his front porch, devouring large flakes of dehydrated potato, drained of all nutritional value and flavored with artificial taste stimulants. Every now and then he apparently finds a flake not to his liking, spits it to the floor, and crushes it under the heel of his boot.

Our Mission Engineer readies the paralysis ray. We all turn toward our Preceptor Supervisor, who gives the go-ahead.

The ray is turned on. Specimen Filber freezes in midchew. Sensors show a wild spike in his adrenaline and a rapid acceleration of his heartbeat—he knows something is happening to him, but he cannot make a sound or move a muscle.

Antigravity suction commences immediately. He is lifted off the porch and drawn into the cargo bay of our spaceship. The specimen still cannot move or speak, but he stares back at us through his ocular aids with big, brown, frightened human eyes.

Excerpted from Stuck On Earth by .

Copyright © 2010 by David Klass.

Published in 2010 by Frances Foster Books.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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First Chapter

Stuck on Earth


By David Klass

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Copyright © 2010 David Klass
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780374399511

1
We are skimming over the New Jersey countryside in full search mode, hunting a fourteen-year-old. Our shields are up, and no humans can possibly spot us, even with the aid of their primitive “radar” and “sonar” technologies.
Earth’s lone moon is in the sky above us. This is indeed a pretty planet. I can see why the Lugonians, whose sun is about to supernova, covet it. Beneath us are dwelling places known as “houses” separated by expanses of unused space termed “lawns” that convey status on property owners by showing how much land they can afford to waste.
A target subject has just been identified! The circumstances are favorable for an extraction—he is sitting alone eating a “snack”—an unnecessary meal that is known to be unhealthy and is consumed at odd hours. It falls under the category of addictive behavior that most Homo sapiens find impossible to resist.
Cellular spectroscopy is positive. This specimen is Caucasian, fourteen years old, and in good health. Weak areas appear to be the teeth, where a metallic correction device known as “braces” has been fastened, and the eyes, where ocular aids called “glasses” have been appended with the help of two plastic rods hooked around the ears.
Brain scans show an above average human intelligence quotient, with particularly high cognitive and imaginative ability. A probe of long-term memory reveals that the specimen is named Tom Filber, he lives with his parents in a small house on Beech Avenue, and he has a sister named Sally with whom he is in a constant state of conflict that sometimes escalates into violence.
All systems are go! The Preceptor Supervisor has just approved the extraction. I, Ketchvar III, prepare myself to inhabit the body and mind of an infinitely lower life-form. I remind myself that my mission is vitally necessary—we must decide soon if the human species should be preserved or wiped out. We drop low in our ship till we are hovering above the chimney of 330 Beech Avenue.
We have just established direct visual surveillance of the specimen. He is sitting on his front porch, devouring large flakes of dehydrated potato, drained of all nutritional value and flavored with artificial taste stimulants. Every now and then he apparently finds a flake not to his liking, spits it to the floor, and crushes it under the heel of his boot.
Our Mission Engineer readies the paralysis ray. We all turn toward our Preceptor Supervisor, who gives the go-ahead.
The ray is turned on. Specimen Filber freezes in midchew. Sensors show a wild spike in his adrenaline and a rapid acceleration of his heartbeat—he knows something is happening to him, but he cannot make a sound or move a muscle.
Antigravity suction commences immediately. He is lifted off the porch and drawn into the cargo bay of our spaceship. The specimen still cannot move or speak, but he stares back at us through his ocular aids with big, brown, frightened human eyes.
Excerpted from Stuck On Earth by .
Copyright © 2010 by David Klass.
Published in 2010 by Frances Foster Books.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.


Continues...

Excerpted from Stuck on Earth by David Klass Copyright © 2010 by David Klass. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

4 Star

(2)

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(4)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Umm.....

    They have the book at school and it looks like a really good book and then i look at the comment and im confused so im going to get a sample and see for myself.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    Gu

    This book has a back that makes it look like so interresting

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 28, 2012

    Interesting alien adventure. I stumbled upon it in the library a

    Interesting alien adventure. I stumbled upon it in the library and
    picked it up not expecting to actually read and enjoy it. It was an
    interesting story aimed at young readers. It had me chuckling in places.
    Would recommend as a short, quick read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    4.5

    This book is so amazingly funny I stayed up all night reading it.
    Ketchvar the 3rd is an alien that is on a mission: Should the homo sapiens (humans)be annihalated? Ketchvar III goes into a regular 14 year olds body to firgure out the answer. As a new "earthling" Ketchvar first challenge as a human is to avaoid his dsastorous mother. He has to hide from her wicked broom. His very witty comments which include "Why she would she fix a wagon because i left chips out escapes me. I also don't know why a piper needs to be paid" (straight from the book) Ketchvar challenges also include bullies who calls him "alien", a sister, and an aliens first kiss. Because of an old man who died, Ketchvar and the girl next door get into some pretty sticky situations. Will they save the earth? Or will Ketchvar be stuck with no sugar doughnut and no way out of Tom? David Klass brings so much to the table including some very true statements.
    "Why do us humans who ourselves have a short lifetime waste out life watching other people's supposedly "real" life?" Enjoy life while you can and don't waste your life doing something stupid

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Awesome book

    I had to read this book as part of my required summer reading at fist it looked odd and i wouldent like it a whole lot but with its short chapters and simple words that a normal 8th grader wouldent know i loved this book alot more then i thought i HIGHLY recommed this book for ages 12 and up for it has a high swear content

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 30, 2010

    Worse than I thought

    It started out well...made me laugh a few times, but then it started getting into all this go green junk which just ruined it for me. Forgettable.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 15, 2011

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    Posted February 16, 2012

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    Posted December 27, 2011

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    Posted September 5, 2012

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    Posted December 26, 2010

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    Posted August 3, 2010

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