Posted by Venus on Sunday, February 9, 2014
Labels: intermediate book review
Chorkle is a regular Xotonian youngling, who isn't supposed to be worried about the fur-headed "humans" who have arrived on their asteroid. But when his people vote to use a weapon against the unsuspecting humans, Chorkle knows that he must warn them, even if his originator disagrees. With a spattering of the human language, Chorkle sneaks aboard their ship and is almost undone by Feeney's Original Astronaut Ice Cream. When four human children end up stranded on Gelo, Chorkle knows it us up to him to protect them and reunite them with their parents.
When I was eleven I picked up a book from the library called Away is a Strange Place to Be by H.M. Hoover. It was a middle grade sci-fi written by an author that most people have never heard of these days. I wasn't much of a reader, but I had recently started homeschooling and we had no television so I was desperate for some entertainment. This little book was the reason I fell in love with reading and specifically sci-fi. Every time I read a book for intermediate readers is, I always ask the question, could this be a book that would make another eleven-year-old fall in love with reading? This is one of those.
Perhaps you think I am overplaying this book? It's true that it probably won't win a Newbery, but then, none of my favorite books have. It isn't high literature and it is possible that like my favorite sci-fi book from my childhood, hardly anyone will read it. (I sincerely hope that is not the case) I can tell you this though, it is fun and funny, a romping adventure with a unique approach with loveable characters and despite it's cutesy cartooney cover, it is not to be taken lightly. There are some high stakes in this book and some real life and death struggles and I think kids are going to gobble it up. I think reluctant readers are not going to be so reluctant. Most important, I think this may be a gateway book for a kid to fall in love with reading and possibly even sci-fi.
Also, for the record, my advance reader copy had Chorkle stickers in it, which is the original reason I snatched it up and it is a brilliant marketing strategy. Who doesn't love stickers?