Greetings From Planet Earth

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9780439802031: Greetings From Planet Earth

An extraordinary debut novel from the award-winning author of THE DINOSAURS OF WATERHOUSE HAWKINS and WALT WHITMAN.

If you had one minute to describe life on Earth, what would you say? It's 1977, and Theo and his class are creating a golden record inspired by the one Voyager 2 will carry into space as a greeting from Earth. But as Theo searches for an original answer to his teacher's question, other questions begin to surface: What happened to his father in Vietnam? And why has his mother been keeping secrets all these years?

In this unforgettable, innovatively constructed debut novel, Barbara Kerley shows us the beauty of outer space and the devastation of war.

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About the Author:

Barbara Kerley's award-winning biographies—including WHAT TO DO ABOUT ALICE? and THE EXTRAORDINARY MARK TWAIN (ACCORDING TO SUSY), both illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, and THE DINOSAURS OF WATERHOUSE HAWKINS and WALT WHITMAN: WORDS FOR AMERICA, both illustrated by Brian Selznick—are consistently praised for their lively prose, meticulous research, and artistic presentation style. Kerley lives in Portland, Oregon. You can visit her online at www.barbarakerley.com.

From Booklist:

As NASA prepares to launch the Voyager 2 space probe in 1977, Theo celebrates his twelfth birthday with his mother, his grandmother, and his big sister. He receives a present that is supposedly from his dad (who left for Vietnam seven years before), though the card is written in his grandmother's hand. Theo seeks answers to questions about his father, but an unspoken rule at home is "Don't talk about Dad. Ever." In his quest, Theo resorts to conversations with his grandmother, a raid on his mother's hidden stash of letters, research at the library, and even some gumshoe detective work. The jacket illustration of a boy walking on the moon implies science fiction, but the novel is quite down-to-earth in its exploration of a boy's sense of loss and his drive to answer fundamental questions. The book has a relatively complex structure, interspersing third-person narrative, first-person reflections in a school report, and letters. Though perhaps more intellectually satisfying than emotionally involving, the novel convincingly portrays a family overshadowed by secrets. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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