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Summer On Earth

by Peter Thompson

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731,801,208 (4.33)None
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. As Ralwil grows to care for Grady and his family, he comes up with a plan to help them, sure it will solve all their problems. But when trouble comes, the family's survival and Ralwil's very life are on the line. Can Grady find the courage to help his family and save his friend?… (more)

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A curious Middle Grade tale of family, love, and out of this world experiences that hit oh so close to home.

Life on the farm has been upset since the passing of one of their own, but things change, time marches on, and sometimes miracles DO happen. Grady is a wonderful lad, and despite his outbursts now and again, he knows when it all comes down to it, sometimes we need a little understanding and a helping hand (or tentacle) to get by. Experiencing the world anew through Will's eyes brings a sheen of beauty to the most mundane of days... as does feeling his desire to help the family he's stumbled upon. Let us not forget little Luanne and Ma... two loving souls at different ends of the age spectrum, but more than willing to join a worthy cause. Lastly, there's McCafferty... no comment (craptastic little louse... hmpf!).

Only two drawbacks to mention, one... the length and language... a little heavy for MG readers just starting out. Second, the ending... so what'd he do after standing there like a fly trap? Loose end alert!

In the end, it was an interesting summer spent with those we learned to see with our hearts instead of just our eyes... a goodly lesson for us all. ( )
  GRgenius | Sep 15, 2019 |
Grady, 11 years old, is trying to figure out how to navigate his life after the death of his father, and one night wishes on a shooting star. That star, however, was not what it seems.

Ralwil, who is not of this Earth, is trying desperately to navigate his malfunctioning spaceship to Earth and not crash land in the process.

These two strangers form an unlikely friendship as Ralwil takes on a human form to help Grady and his family around their farm. Of course, as with most extraterrestrial stories, things don't always go according to Ralwil and Grady's plans. In trying to help Grady and his family out of their financial troubles (through some truly extraterrestrial thinking!), Ralwil has forgone his own mission of trying to return home, and unwittingly puts Grady and his family in an awkward situation, while also putting his life on the line. It comes down to Grady to find a way to save the day.

This was a fairly quick read for me, but it was poignant and written with heart. The alternating POVs between Grady and Ralwil were interesting, especially Ralwil's as we got insight into his thoughts on such a foreign world as our is to him. While there isn't a whole lot of alien action, it's more about the friends and their growing relationship, and this is what really makes the book. I think this would be an excellent book for any younger reader who likes a little bit of science fiction in their reading. ( )
  tapestry100 | Oct 11, 2017 |
In the summer of 1978, eleven-year-old Grady Johnson is grieving the recent loss of his father. Times were already tough for the Johnsons, but Grady suspects now that it’s just the three of them: him, his Ma, and his younger sister Luanne, this summer will be especially hard. After all, his dad was the rock of their family. Now dad has died and the family just isn’t the same.

Grady knows that Ma is trying her best, but they just don’t have enough money to get by. He wishes that he could do more to help, but he doesn’t know how. The night that he looked out his bedroom window and wished upon a shooting star, Grady had no idea how much his life would change. And ultimately, the summer of 1978 will stay in Grady’s heart forever.

Actually, the shooting star that Grady saw that night was a spaceship plummeting to Earth. Secretly landing in a pasture behind Grady’s farm, extraterrestrial engineer Ralwil Turth has only one goal - to repair his craft’s power source and go back home. The mission should be simple enough to accomplish on an unpopulated planet such as this one. However, Ralwil’s mission doesn’t go quite as well as he planned...

Due to an equipment malfunction, Ralwil finds himself stuck in human form as he works on the Johnson farm. As he gets to know Grady and his family, Ralwil begins to learn what it means to be human. He also discovers more about the exotic charms of this planet Earth - things such as the taste of potatoes and how amazing bugs are. These are all extraordinary experiences and situations for Ralwil, and his strange reactions and odd behavior causes Grady no small measure of bafflement to witness.

As Ralwil grows to care more for Grady and his family, he comes up with a plan to try and help them, certain that it will solve all their problems. However, when trouble comes, the family’s survival and Ralwil’s very life will be on the line. The question is: will Grady find the courage he needs to help his family and save his new friend?

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found the story to be poignant and well-written, and fully appreciated that the plot was about so much more than just the science fictional element. In my opinion, this was a refreshing change from most science fiction novels, which seem to be told from a more galactic point of view, rather than a personal point of view.

The historical setting of the story was also intriguing, and not necessarily overwhelming. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future and I would certainly give this book an A+! ( )
  rubyandthetwins | Oct 2, 2017 |
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