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Sam, Tadcaster Grammar School

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth is the page-turning, always-something-happening type of book. With its fast-paced plot it is the perfect book for children aged ten to thirteen.
When Sputnik Mellows, an alien that everyone sees as a dog except from a homeless kid called Prez, turns up at the Blythes front door Prez is shocked, but when the Sputnik tells him that the Earth is going to be shrunk, Prez has to act fast. He has the rest of summer to come up with ten things worth seeing or doing on planet Earth. Prez spends the summer fixing Hadrian's wall with reverse dynamite, releasing eighteen year old criminals from jail and gravity surfing.
I think that the best thing about the book is the plot as there is always something happening even if it isn't part of the main story. It is well-constructed and is never in one place for a long time. The ending is also very good as there is a twist.
The characters are good too. They are all very different and unique and interact convincingly. At first I didn't know what Sputnik was but it soon became clear. The characters also develop throughout the book which makes it more interesting and makes you want to read on.
The style of writing is in first person and a lot of speech doesn't have a name to it. The mood is a mix of anticipation for what happens next and a bit of empathy for Prez. The author, Frank Cottrell Boyce,doesn't really set the scene and lets you imagine all of the settings without describing them thoroughly.
Overall, I think Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth is a very good book and I really enjoyed reading it. It is a little sad in places but it's mainly about one man/boy and his dog/alien friend going off on adventures together.

Posted on: 14th May 2017 at 09:38 am

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