Title: SUMMER ON EARTH Author: Peter Thompson Publisher: Persnickety Press Pages: 293 Genre: Sci-fi / Middle Grade
The night that eleven-year-old Grady Johnson looked out his window and wished upon a shooting star, his life changed forever.
Grady, his Ma, and younger sister Luanne are having a hard summer. Dad has died and the family isn’t the same. Though Ma is trying her best, Grady knows they don’t have enough money to get by.
The shooting star he saw was a space craft plunging to Earth, and landing at the back of their farm. Extraterrestrial engineer Ralwil Turth has one goal, to fix his power drive and go back home. But things don’t go as planned. Stuck in human form, he gets to know Grady and his family as he works on their farm. He starts to learn about what it means to be human, and the exotic charms of this planet like the taste of potatoes, and how amazing bugs are.
Ralwil grows to care for Grady and his family. On a trip to town, he realizes that money is what matters to humans, and is the cause of the family’s trouble. That night, he uses his technology to combine a twenty-dollar bill with an oak twig. Over the next week this grows to a towering tree, every leaf a twenty-dollar bill. This, Ralwil is sure, will solve all the family’s problems.
But the family’s wealth raises suspicion in this small town, and this soon leads to more trouble. With the family’s fate, and Ralwil’s life, on the line, Grady has to find the courage to help his family and save his friend.
Summer on Earth blends humor, adventure and poignancy to create an unforgettable story about finding home.
Peter Thompson grew up in Illinois, and lives near Chicago. He remembers how excited he was when the first astronaut stepped on to the moon. He has had an appreciation of space, and all its possibilities ever since. His love of children’s books developed while reading to his three sons. His first novel, Living Proof, was a thriller published by Berkeley Books. Summer on Earth is his first book for younger readers. It will be released in August of this year.
Summer on Earth was an awesome book about the love of family, the need for courage, and the power of a friend(human or not). I loved how Ralwil literally made a tree of money to help Grady and his family, but how the families wealth then brought them more problems. The reason I liked this part is because it felt real I have seen too many books where a character instantly becomes wealthy and no one questions it. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and it would be a must read for those in elementary and middle school.