Monday, June 13, 2011

Star Jumper Review

Book talk: Einstein has nothing on Alex.  Sure, Einstein has the theory of relativity to his name, but Alex has created a spaceship from only cardboard, duct tape, and other scraps found in the attic of his parents' house.  Life is bound to be lonely in space, and Alex will miss his parents and his friends, but it will be worth it to get away from his little brother Jonathan. Until then he has to put up with him though, which can get in the way of his work.  His brother's annoying ways are the reason he's building a spaceship, but they may also be the reason he never completes it.

Rocks my socks: This novel reminded me of an extended Calvin and Hobbes storyline.  The novel is realistic, but Alex is completely convinced of the efficacy of his cardboard spaceship, shrink ray, and duplicator, and describes the effects of the devices as if they are really happening.  I also enjoyed the relationship between Alex and Jonathan and how it is finally resolved.  This book has humor, heart, and a lot of imagination.

Rocks in my socks: The novel contains a subplot romance between Alex and a girl in his class and it felt a bit tagged on and distracting to me.  I also think that considering the audience it's aiming for it might turn off some readers as well.  Especially because the novel is so short, I think it would have been better to keep the focus on the sibling relationship.

Every book its reader: I'd give it to 2nd and 3rd graders looking for an easy chapter book.  Our 2nd grade does a unit on inventors so we've used it as a read aloud with them and they enjoyed it.  Kids who like Calvin and Hobbes will enjoy reading about Alex and his adventures.

Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius  by Frank Asch

Buy it at your local book store or check it out from your local library

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