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Carenza, Our Lady's Abingdon (OLA)

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth is a light-hearted book. It follows Prez, a boy who used to live with his granddad but can no longer as his grandfather is growing senile, as he encounters Sputnik the alien. Sputnik came to Earth on the advice of Laika, the first Earth creature in space. Laika gave him a Guide to Life on Earth, but on checking with Prez it turns out a lot of the information in Laika's Guide to Life on Earth is incorrect. Which is problematic. Without anything worth doing or seeing on Earth, there will be no reason not to destroy Earth. This means that Prez has a summer to convince Sputnik that there is reason to save Earth. However Prez has a different view on what is worth seeing on Earth than Sputnik.

This book is sweet and fun, interspersed with little questions about perspective, and how we view the world (seen through the differences between what Sputnik and Prez find remarkable about earth. It talks a bit about family, what we'll do for them, and how much they mean to us. You can see this through the ridiculous things Prez is willing to do (and Sputnik willing to assist with) in order to reconnect with his granddad. The biggest theme, however, is home. There are various conversations about whether home is a place, or home is the people you care for and who matter to you most. Sputnik has lost his home planet, but still considers himself to have a home, because home is where you are.

My favourite character is Sputnik because he amuses me greatly. He has this stubborn desire to sort things out so that they are as he thinks they ought to be. This, however, is often executed with a total disregard for physics, safety and the way humans think things ought to be. Another of the things I like about Sputnik is that everyone but Prez sees him as a dog, and this leads to amusing situations.

To conclude, Sputnik's Guide to life on Earth has a universal appeal, due to its slapstick humour, which will attract younger readers, and its more subtle humour, which adults will pick up on. I liked Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth, as it was a swift read with some underlying meanings.

Posted on: 21st March 2017 at 07:49 pm

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