A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Anne Rockwell (Apples and Pumpkins) and Adrienne Adams (A Woggle of Witches).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Jules Verne (1828â€“1905), A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days.
- In 1692, a doctor in Salem, Massachusetts, suggests that two girls may be suffering from bewitchment. Read Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill.
- Happy Birthday to the Boy Scouts of America, incorporated in 1910. Itâ€™s Boy Scout's Anniversary Day. If you didnâ€™t get to it last week, read The Official Handbook for Boys: The First Boy Scout Handbook, originally published in 1911.
If you live in New Mexico, today you can celebrate Extraterrestrial Culture Dayâ€”established by a congressman from Roswell, New Mexico, to celebrate and honor all past, present, and future extraterrestrial visitors. And if you donâ€™t live in New Mexico, the day sounds so cool that you probably want to celebrate it anyway. No matter where you live, you can read a fabulous new book, featuring the perfect hero for this day.
If you believe the narrator of David Klassâ€™s Stuck on Earth, you have just made the acquaintance of Ketchvar III, an intergalactic traveler who has been dropped in New Jersey. He has been sent on an important missionâ€”he must determine if the people on earth should be allowed to live. To understand earthlings, Ketchvar III invades the brain of a fourteen-year-old boy, Tom Filber, someone whose nickname on earth just happens to be â€śAlien.â€ť A typical teenage boy, Tom deals with a crush on the girl next-door, a lethal mother, drunken father, and sister who does constant battle with him. Ketchvar III, who comes from a peaceful planet, finds all of Tomâ€™s lifeâ€”including the daily bullying he undergoesâ€”horrific. But the longer our alien stays, the more he grows to appreciateÂ earth’s residents.
The school psychologist and Tomâ€™s peers at the school believe that Tom has created an empowerment fantasy to make his difficult life bearable. Because Stuck on Earth is told from Tomâ€™s perspective, you join them in wondering: has Tom really been taken over by an alienâ€”or is he inventing it all? How in the world is Tom, and for that matter Ketchvar III, going to survive on earth even for a short period of time? These questions, and our heroâ€™s attempts to uncover serious ecological damage occurring in his town, form the basis of a very funny, fast-paced, and totally convincing story of a young boyâ€™s adolescent struggles. This book can be enjoyed by ten- to fourteen-year-oldsâ€”particularly if on some days they feel like aliens themselves.
Unfortunately, Ketchvar III landed in New Jersey. If he had touched down in New Mexico, heâ€™d be celebrated and honored today. Welcome to earth, Ketchvar IIIâ€”and we do hope you recommend that the people of this beautiful planet not be exterminated. The rest of us will have to read Stuck on Earth to find out what our honored visitor decided.
Hereâ€™s a section from Stuck on Earth:
â€śDo not be alarmed, Earthling,â€ť I say, crawling out of my protective shell. Homo sapiens are large and ugly creatures, but I try not to show distaste. I remind myself that to this human I must resemble the Earth organism known as a snail.
Tom Filber cannot move a muscle. Even the pupils of his eyes cannot dilate. Still, the human face is extremely expressive and his terror shows clearly. The paralysis ray did not freeze his major internal organs, and his heart rate continues to climb precipitously. Iâ€™m afraid he may undergo cardiac arrest if I do not find a way to calm his fears.
Originally posted February 8, 2011. Updated for .