The Only Alien on the Planet

( 46 )

Overview

Ginny never thought she would fall for someone like Smitty. But the more she tries to understand his quiet pain, the more she falls deeply in love with him. Eventually, Smitty lets Ginny into his troubled, hidden world, and they begin the gradual process of healing--together. This is an intensse, emotionally powerful novel that deals with the issue of abuse. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults. An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.

After moving to the ...

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Only Alien on the Planet

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Overview

Ginny never thought she would fall for someone like Smitty. But the more she tries to understand his quiet pain, the more she falls deeply in love with him. Eventually, Smitty lets Ginny into his troubled, hidden world, and they begin the gradual process of healing--together. This is an intensse, emotionally powerful novel that deals with the issue of abuse. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults. An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.

After moving to the East Coast, Ginny enters her senior year of high school and uncovers the secret behind a new friend's refusal to speak.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
New student Ginny is intrigued by the handsome alien in her homeroom-no, this is not a science fiction novel. Smitty-real name Michael-is known to his schoolmates as "The Alien" because of his affectless appearance and complete silence. Soon, Ginny and Smitty's longtime protector, Caulder, team up to try and crack his shell. They get much more than they bargain for when they drag him along on old-movie outings; as a none-too-subtle plot device, the first turns out to be The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the second, East of Eden. Smitty walks out of both, for it turns out that he was almost fatally abused by his older brother, who also convinced him that he would die if he spoke to anyone. With the help of Ginny, Caulder and a wise and sympathetic therapist, Smitty emerges from this psychological curse, and he and Ginny even begin a tentative romantic relationship. Randle Why Did Grandma Have to Die? unfortunately builds her otherwise well-crafted novel around an uncharacteristic response to abuse. Under his pain, Smitty is totally honest and caring-a very romantic figure, but not one likely to be found in the real world. Ages 12-up. Mar.
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Smitty is a strange guy. The other kids refer to him as "The Alien." He never makes eye contact and never touches anyone, but he is a brain when it comes to schoolwork. Having just moved to town and feeling out of place herself, Ginny decides to make Smitty her friend. In this compelling tale of friendship, we learn of the horrors of sibling abuse and the "specialness" of true friendship. 1996 orig.
The ALAN Review - C. Anne Webb
Ginny Christianson's parents move their family and business from the West Coast to the midlands. Ginny's is a large, talking, touching, sharing, kidding, trusting, happy family. As she surveys the "male possibilities" on her first day in the new school, her eyes fall on a well-dressed, neat, but quiet Advance-Placement classmate. She is told, "Smitty Tibbs has never said a word to anybody." Is he autistic, retarded, strange, like an alien on the planet? How can anyone never talk or touch and yet write sensitive poetry? Needing help with trig, her new neighbor, and Smitty's only friend, Caulder, leads Ginny to Smitty Tibbs, uncovering more secrets than those of higher math. An inside look at a "good" family gone bad.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Ginny feels like an outsider when her family moves from their native California to a new home on the east coast, but once she starts attending the local high school she finds someone even more alien than herself. Smitty Tibbs is an honor student who never speaks, makes eye contact, or allows anyone to touch him. Ginny feels oddly drawn to the strange boy, and learns that his long-time defender, Caulder Pretiger, is not only a fellow student but also her next-door neighbor. They form a solid friendship, often joined by Ginny's two brothers and Caulder's sisters in a comfortable sixsome. When Caulder decides that he and Ginny will crack Smitty's silent armor and bring him back into the world for his own good, their awkward attempts at communication and real friendship cause serious problems. The facade of glib YA fiction-clever banter, easy relationships, convenient social opportunities-is occasionally suffused here with the brilliance and intensity of Joanne Greenberg's I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (Holt, 1964). As Smitty is pulled reluctantly from his protective silence, his bizarre and painful past is revealed and the novel becomes utterly compelling. In the end, things fall into place a little too easily and neatly for such a difficult beginning, providing a conclusion that may not stand up to hard, clinical analysis, but it is totally satisfying. A fast-moving, unusual contemporary romance that should have great appeal.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402226694
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 485,707
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristen D. Randle lives with her husband, four children, and two dogs in a little wood on the banks of a Utah river. She and her husband manage their own recording studio. The award-winning The Only Alien on the Planet is one of several novels she has written.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 3, 2010

    Decent but unrealistic

    I bought this book some 15 years ago when I was in junior high, and regarded it then as the best book I'd ever read. Having lost my original copy, I decided to reread it. My "adult" experience of this book is far less positive.


    The characterizations are the strength of this title. After all, this is a book about people and their relationships. What irritated me this reading was 1) the obnoxiously perfect family of Ginny, filled with laughter and platitudes 2) her idealized, platonic relationship with Caulder and their unusual obsession with helping out "a freak" kid in their high school 3) the twisted psychology in which the entire plot for Smitty is hinged upon.


    Every one of these things is not only unrealistic, but the book is dependent on these "truths" to function. The book also ends at an unusual point. Romance is stirred between the protagonists, and his crisis is somewhat resolved, but I was still left wanting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2010

    Incredible

    The characters feel real, and the struggle for Ginny and Caulder to help Smitty was just beautiful. This book will make you cry and think. I would recommend it to everyone, adults and teens.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    My absolute favorite book

    I actually owned this book for a while before I decided to read it, which was in middle school (I'm currently a college student). I loved it then and I love it now and often when reading it I find myself wishing that I had read it long before I did. I reread it over and over again and it never gets old. I recommended it to all of my friends and they love it too. You can't help but relate to Ginny and how she's feeling about her situation. The quote in the first chapter of the book, "Never, never make the mistake of thinking that you're the only alien on the planet" is one that every one should consider. I recommend this to anyone and everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

    Trust me

    When you pick this book up and read the first few pages it might seem a little slow going but trust me when i tell you that if you stick it out to the end it will be well worth it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2007

    A Pleasantly Unexpected Surprise

    This book was actually assigned for a class, so when I began to enjoy the story, I was very pleasantly surprised. I usually don¿t like to read books that are assigned to me, but this was a very original story and very easy to be interested in. From the beginning, I was intrigued by Ginny and how she viewed the world compared to others around her. As soon as Smitty entered the story, I was hooked and I literally could not put it down. This has an amazingly thoughtful and emotional plot, with characters that make you feel like they are your own friends. If you decide to get involved with this book, you will not be disappointed¿I guarantee it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2005

    You Have To Read This Book!

    This is a really good book. At first, the cover throws most people off because you're thinking, 'it's just another science fiction novel.' But it's not. It's a really exceptional and romantic book, that really makes you think, and I totally recomend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2005

    SO GOOD!

    I actually picked the book out of the discarded pile at the library thinking it wasnt gonna be something i would usually read. The cover really threw me off, but once i started reading the book i seriously couldnt put it down. I read it in less then 24 hours, i found myself getting up early before school so i could read it. Believe me i dont even get up to do homework in the morning. I was drawn into this world with Ginny and i felt as if i had known her for years and the story is so touching. I think EVERYONE should read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2004

    What a classic!!!!

    This book originally seemed to be a science fiction novel to me so I just passed it by. After months of seeing on the book shelf of the public library I finally could not resist. I was stunningly surprised by the deep and lovely story that I found. The images of Ginny and Michael together are so sweet and heartbreaking and the ending is so perfect. I recomend this book to anyone who wants to read a emotional but happy story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2004

    The Best Book

    I think this book was amazing. I loved each and every one of the character's. Especially smitty. I felt bad for him and I thought that the movie theater scene's were a good touch. I LOVED this book. This was one of the only books I could read more than once. And even now, 3 years after the first time reading it I still read it from time to time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2003

    there should be a movie to this book

    when i first read saw this book i thought it was going to be boring by looking on the cover. but when i started reading it i couldn't put it down. it was very touching. i cry every time i read it. it shows people how love happens in strange ways. Poor Ginny thought that she and caulder was wasting their time on a boy who didn't want to speak. but they realize that smitty had a problem why he didn't want to speak or else his secret would come out. this book was very good. love happens in strange ways thats what Ginny found out. Ive also found out to. if i hadn't have read this book then my life would not have been so great. it was truely a deep and touching book. its really the greatest book that i have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2003

    Perfect 10!

    This is the best book I have ever read, and is one of the vey few that i have read over and over. It is intense, romantic, and amazingly captavating, I give it a perfect 10!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2003

    Spellbounding..

    I read this book when i was 11 and have been in love with it since...it has opened my mind to think in different ways and now that im 15 i still think it is one of my favorite books. I read a tremendous amount but every few months i have to go back and read it. its spellbounding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2003

    OMG!!! This is the BEST Book ever!!!!!!!!

    This is my All Time favorite Book!! I wish there was a second one!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2003

    Powerfully Moving

    I very seldom find a book that's not science fiction that I enjoy, but this one kept me reading from cover to cover. With colorfully written characters such as Ginny, whose own spontaneity often gets her into more trouble than she needs; Caulder, whose obsession with Smitty often leads to problems for all of them; and Smitty, who keeps silent, keeping the secret of his past hidden. I loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2002

    A VERY GOOD BOOK!!

    I read this book in two days. That's how good this book is. She did a really good job writing this. I like the romance and the intensity that pulled me in. I recommend this book to others!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2003

    GREAT BOOK

    My friend Emily NEVER reads but one day she lets me borrow this book, and its one of the few she's read, twice, so I gave it a try. I started it @ 10PM... and FINISHED @ 1AM it was sooooooooo addicting. I just had to find out what was going to happen! They should make this book into a movie, but make it right, anyways...get it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2002

    This is the most heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, smile-making book I've ever read!

    I've read a lot of books for a 13-year-old because of my school's accelerated reading program, but this is by far the best ever. I absolutely adore the plot of this very genuine book. It really touches more than the heart it touches your soul, your...spirit. It really puts you in a situation where you literally feel like you know Ginny and the trouble she's going through. And it also does the same thing with Smitty, it makes you feel... detached to the normal things of life and what you take for granted every single day you speak, socialize, touch, express. Don't let the meaning of the story pass you by. You'll really miss it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2002

    GREAT BOOK!!

    im a very picky person, and when it comes to books i never really like any i started this book and finished it today. it was the best book i've every read! this book makes you just want to keep reading! i really love this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2002

    Wonderfully amazing book!!!!!!

    I loved this book so much. It was the best book I have read in a very long time. I loved it and i would recomend it to anyone. It was wonderful!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2002

    Awesome book!

    I read this book on a dare... thought it was a sci-fi... even though it wasn't, i couldn't have been happier with the book. The author really makes you feel as if you are a part of the story... not just a 'tag-along' This book is a must read for anyone!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews

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