Trash Crisis on Earth

Overview

Meet Julian Rodriguez, an extra-terrestrial genius trapped in the body of an eight-year-old human boy. A hilarious, fully illustrated series for young chapter-book readers that's out of this world!

Julian Rodriguez is on a mission for the Mothership. He's been sent to Earth to study human lifeforms and their bizarre habits--from their disgusting diet (orange sticks named carrots, flavorless liquid called water, and the revolting substance known as veggie-dogs) to their ...

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Overview

Meet Julian Rodriguez, an extra-terrestrial genius trapped in the body of an eight-year-old human boy. A hilarious, fully illustrated series for young chapter-book readers that's out of this world!

Julian Rodriguez is on a mission for the Mothership. He's been sent to Earth to study human lifeforms and their bizarre habits--from their disgusting diet (orange sticks named carrots, flavorless liquid called water, and the revolting substance known as veggie-dogs) to their repressive treatment of their young (forcing them to carry out menial tasks known as chores, withholding access to the great cultural masterpieces called cartoons). When Julian's Maternal Unit assigns a hideous task, it's nearly too much for the hardened space veteran to bear--but he finds his courage at last.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

First in what readers will hope will be a robust series, this hybrid of fiction and graphic novel dusts off a favorite conceit with a slick swipe of edgy visuals and tart commentary. Julian Rodriguez sits at his computer, tapping furiously: "Mothership, you sent me here to study the ways of these mini-brained Earthlings and I accepted your 'undercover mission' against my better judgment." As he tells it, he has stoically endured eight years of condescension, insults and mistreatment as a child in an Earthling home. Cartoons labeled Exhibits A-D make the case: in each a Parental Unit delivers remarks like, "Rise and shine, Mr. Spaceman!" or "Why would you spray paint the bathtub?" A pared-down color scheme (just black and variations of green) emphasizes Stadler's (the Beverly Billingsly illustrator) wiry, kinetic draftsmanship; these tough-guy drawings, whether stand-alones or in panels, toss out little jokes (Julian's school is named Aretha Franklin Elementary) and riff on the text. The plot, not that it matters much, revolves around a showdown between the Maternal Unit and a ravenous Julian: take out the trash or suffer "imprisonment" ("You are going to your room right now!"). It's impossible to read this without laughing. Ages 7-10. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
First Officer Julian Rodriguez is in big trouble. He has endured the denial of his preferred foods in his midday nutrition capsule—that would be lunch to Earthlings—survived Standardized Testing, and even escaped from the girl bullies out to steal his data. But nothing compares to the terror that awaits him when he returns to his home study site, Evilomami. Also known as The Maternal Unit, she requires Julian take out the trash, or in his terms, dispose of a large canister filled to the brim with humanoid refuse! When he refuses, he is banished to his room. Upon filing the report of this abuse to Mothership, First Officer Julian Rodriguez finds the fate of the Earth is in his hands. Do the mini-brains deserve to be annihilated for treating him so badly? Or will he take out the trash to preserve the humanoids? In this witty, graphic early reader, author-illustrator Alexander Stadler offers an off-beat version of typical childhood issues. Julian stays in character throughout as the longsuffering, disguised, extra-terrestrial emissary of the Federation working undercover on Earth, studying primitive life-forms. Humorous illustrations, coupled with computer screen-style communications from Mothership, add authenticity to Julian's plight and will keep even reluctant readers turning the pages. Additionally, the higher vocabulary included in some of Julian's observations will encourage students to increase their own knowledge of harder words. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

Is Julian Rodriguez a youngster who has been frustrated by his parents one too many times or is he really an officer of a Space Federation on a very trying intergalactic, fact-finding mission? After being sent to his room by his "stupid maternal unit," Julian reports to the Mothership the humiliation he has experienced at the hands of his earthling parents, teachers, and classmates. The last straw is, of course, being forced to "dispose of a large canister, filled to the brim with humanoid refuse," which leads to his "trash crisis on Earth." The cartoonlike illustrations give the book the look of an edgy graphic novel, and the lightning bolt on Julian's green shirt gives the protagonist a superhero vibe. The story should appeal to young readers who like Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (Abrams) but aren't yet ready for a longer novel.-Kathleen Meulen, Sakai Intermediate School, Bainbridge Island, WA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439919661
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Series: Julian Rodriguez Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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