Wednesday, October 18, 2017

First Chapter Review: Summer on Earth by Peter Thompson

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.


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Who can resist this beautiful cover? The publisher did a bang up job. The cover is perfect for depicting a young boy staring at the stars and sees a shooting star which changes his whole life. I love the fonts; everything is a thumbs up for this cover.

First Chapter: 

This first chapter opens with Ralwil Turth racing towards earth. It's the Intergalactic Year 465009.2053. My first impression is that this is set way in the future. Ralwil has no idea that earth is inhabitable but he knows it has water. As his spaceship is barreling down to earth, he sees light which to him must mean there are cities down there, something he didn't want. He finally lands and is thankful he's still alive. It's interesting to read how his alien characteristics are in regards to how he views the wildlife and the vegetation he encounters.

Favorite Line:

It's actually two lines but I needed to add the first line for the second line to make sense. This is how he was describing the first creature he saw: This creature was surely not intelligent. In fact it appeared to be as dumb as wyr-tack.  Love that - wyr-tack whatever that is.

Would I Keep Reading?

Definitely! I can't wait to get to the part where the little boy and he come into contact. I'm presuming they will. I'd like to add that this would make an excellent movie!

About the Author

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.



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