Book Review: Earthling!

Book Review: Earthling! by Mark Fearing

Earthling! was “awesome”, according to my 10-year-old, and I’d have to agree. This graphic novel tells the story of average kid Bud, who moves to New Mexico with his dad and, on his first day of school, gets on the wrong school bus. Not just any bus, though — Bud gets on a bus going to Cosmos Academy, an intergalactic school located on a huge space ship. Bud must keep his identity secret, as Earthlings are the most feared species in the universe. Posing as a Tenarian exchange student, he must fit in, make friends, and figure out how in the universe he’s going to get back home. Oh, and also lead his team to victory in ZeroBall — if he can figure out what that is before the championship.

Earthling! is clever and funny, and makes good points about friendship, being the new kid, and being judged based on stereotypes — all without being preachy or talking down. The artwork is bright, humorous, and includes enough weird and gross aliens to delight kids and entice them to read on.

This was a great choice for my middle grade reader, who usually has to be chained down and force-fed his reading material. This one, he read without a struggle… and liked it enough to insist that I read it too.

Guess what? I found myself giggling as well. Earthling! is a winner.