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March/April book recs

May 19, 2019

Book recs time, again! I didn’t do a recs post for March, so I’ve decided to do March and April in a single post. So without further ado…

Jupiter Storm, by Marti Dumas 

Jupiter_storm_cover

Jupiter Storm is a pleasant little kids’ book which made for a fast and enjoyable read. It follows one Jacquelyn (“Jackie”) Marie Johnson, an inquisitive and mature ten-year-old girl who discovers a “chrysallegg” on some snapdragons out in her family’s back garden. Jackie takes the “chrysallegg” into her room and watches it grow, becoming more and more obsessed and protective of it as the creature inside prepares to hatch. And when that creature does hatch, Jackie immediately finds her life changed forever more…
Wonderfully written, and with excellent depictions of familial relationships, Jupiter Storm is easy to recommend for younger readers. I for one loved reading of Jackie’s growing bond with the titular Jupiter, and Jackie’s efforts to hide the truth from her family never failed to keep me turning the pages. Well worth a look, I say.

Stuck On Earth, by David Klass

Stuck_on_earth_cover

Stuck on Earth is another excellently-done kids’ book. Pleasant, though, it frequently ain’t. Our protagonist here is one Ketchvar III, a snail-like alien on a mission to inhabit a human and study the human race, prior to passing judgement on humanity’s future. Other aliens, you see, are in need of a new home – and without all those pesky humans, Earth really would be the perfect place…

Ketchvar ends up in the body of one Tom Filber, but quickly realises that Tom may not be the perfect specimen for such an important mission. Between an unemployed alcoholic father and an angry (and frequently abusive) mother, Tom’s home life is nothing short of horrific. School provides little respite, with Tom proving to be utterly friendless as well as being a magnet for bullies. The only upside for Ketchvar is Michelle Peabody, the girl living next door, who Tom himself has long harboured feelings for.

Though many of the sci-fi aspects of Stuck On Earth are a little weak in my view, I nonetheless found this book to be a deeply engaging read. Ketchvar’s experiences of human life make for interesting story-telling, and there’s a fair amount of action in the book’s latter half that left me eager to keep turning the pages. If you’re looking for something for your kid to read, or else just looking for something a little different to read yourself, then I reckon this is well worth a look.

The Posthumous Adventures of Harry Whittaker, by Bobbie DarbyshireHarry_Whittaker_cover

The Posthumous Adventures of Harry Whittaker is a truly wonderful novel that I would suggest to just about anyone. It centres on the titular Harry Whittaker, a much-celebrated actor who suddenly passes away and finds himself having to navigate a strange afterlife. Ghosts, as Harry soon learns, must always remain close to people or things with which that they made a significant emotional connection. Unfortunately for Harry, the only person he ever truly connected with emotionally…was Harry Whittaker himself.

As well as Harry, the novel follows a number of characters who are affected by Harry’s life and passing. Each one of them is brilliantly realised, their efforts at navigating their lives making for rich and rewarding reading. Those efforts also contrast nicely with Harry’s supernatural adventure, resulting in a novel quite unlike anything else I have ever read. Highly recommended!

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