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Stuck on Earth

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Ketchvar III's mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvar—who, to human eyes, looks just like a common snail—crawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimen—fourteen years old, good Ketchvar III's mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvar—who, to human eyes, looks just like a common snail—crawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimen—fourteen years old, good health, above average intelligence. But it soon becomes apparent that Tom Filber may be a little too average—gawky, awkward, and utterly abhorred by his peers. An alien within an alien's skin, Ketchvar quickly finds himself wrapped up in the daily drama of teenage life—infuriating family members, raging bullies, and undeniably beautiful next-door neighbors. And the more entangled Ketchvar becomes, the harder it is to answer the question he was sent to Earth to resolve: Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good? Or is it possible that Homo sapiens really are worth saving? Wickedly wry and hysterically skewed, David Klass's take on teen life on our fabulously flawed Planet Earth is an engrossing look at true friends, truer enemies, and awkward alien first kisses. Stuck on Earth is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.


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Ketchvar III's mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvar—who, to human eyes, looks just like a common snail—crawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimen—fourteen years old, good Ketchvar III's mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvar—who, to human eyes, looks just like a common snail—crawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimen—fourteen years old, good health, above average intelligence. But it soon becomes apparent that Tom Filber may be a little too average—gawky, awkward, and utterly abhorred by his peers. An alien within an alien's skin, Ketchvar quickly finds himself wrapped up in the daily drama of teenage life—infuriating family members, raging bullies, and undeniably beautiful next-door neighbors. And the more entangled Ketchvar becomes, the harder it is to answer the question he was sent to Earth to resolve: Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good? Or is it possible that Homo sapiens really are worth saving? Wickedly wry and hysterically skewed, David Klass's take on teen life on our fabulously flawed Planet Earth is an engrossing look at true friends, truer enemies, and awkward alien first kisses. Stuck on Earth is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

30 review for Stuck on Earth

  1. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the story of Ketchvar III, a gastropod from the planet "Sandoval" who wiggles his way into the body of Tom Filber, a fourteen year old incoming freshman. Why? Ketchvar must decide the fate of the human race: will they be annihilated, or allowed to muddle along, barely able to conduct their own lives, let alone take care of planet earth. There's plenty of evidence for the decision to annihilate humans. In Ketchvar's opinion, they've driven their beautiful planet towards the brink of an This is the story of Ketchvar III, a gastropod from the planet "Sandoval" who wiggles his way into the body of Tom Filber, a fourteen year old incoming freshman. Why? Ketchvar must decide the fate of the human race: will they be annihilated, or allowed to muddle along, barely able to conduct their own lives, let alone take care of planet earth. There's plenty of evidence for the decision to annihilate humans. In Ketchvar's opinion, they've driven their beautiful planet towards the brink of an untimely demise. They are willfully violent towards each other, misinterpreting any basic kindnesses so that they may continue on their destructive path. At least that is how Ketchvar sees it as he navigates Tom Filber's body, experiencing a life that is fraught with many a danger at home and at school. Ketchvar's first experience as Tom Filber is one of violence in the home. His mother chases him around with a broom after finding potato chip crumbs strewn around on the porch; Tom's doing. On another occasion,his sister accosts him with a cattle prod as he attempts to escape his mother by taking a short-cut through her room. These scenes are actually pretty funny, in spite of the serious dysfunctionality of Tom's family. The humor comes in the form of Ketchvar attempting to access some sage advise from Tom's consciousness, which has been enveloped in a "Ragwellian Bubble." Generally the advise that Tom's consciousness dispenses is wise, such as "Duck behind the tree and make a run for it." But when Tom's advice is to "go for some tongue action" during a tender kissing scene with the neighbor girl, it backfires miserably. Both Ketchvar and Tom have a lot to learn. They do learn from each other and that is one of the joys of this novel, which explores the human spirit from the eyes of an outsider. Ketchvar is inspired to expose some toxic dumping when the teacher from his "Teen Green Team" club dies. He goes on a dangerous mission, taking Ellen, the girl-next-door with him. This is something that Tom on his own would never have attempted. At points during the mission, Tom's consciousness expresses extreme doubt about a successful outcome and Ketchvar ignores him, pushing Tom's body beyond its limit. Tom learns that in the face of doubt he has untapped resources to plum. Klass also explores father and son relationships, comparing Tom's disfunctional one with Ketchvar's. Ketchvar's father becomes lost in the freezing ooze of planet Sandovar and Ketchvar deeply regrets not having spent enough time with him. Tom's dad struggles with alcoholism and despair, but Tom has not given up on him. There is a happy ending, although it comes after many difficult trials. Tom's sister exposes Ketchvar by sending out his private emails with his superiors back at the ship out into the vastness of the internet, making life for Tom as a bullied freshman even more painful. After Tom/Ketchvar is proclaimed a hero for exposing the toxic dumping, town bully Jason Harbishaw, whose family is the one that runs the paint factory doing the dumping, makes an attempt on Tom's life. There are many fitting parallels to be drawn between the life of an awkward 14 year old and an alien life form. This novel blends science fiction with a teen coming-of-age story throwing in a little environmentalism too. The resultant mixture makes for a deeply satisfying read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Predictable story about an alien sent to earth to determine whether or not the planet's inhabitants are worth sparing. Naturally the alien evaluator (a.k.a. Ketchvar) has to occupy a body to do a real investigation and naturally he ends up taking over the body of the most tormented boy on the planet (a.k.a. Tom). Hardly any of the dialogue has a natural ring to it--characters trot out oddly dated expressions like "fix your wagon" or "clean your clock" and I have a hard time believing any Predictable story about an alien sent to earth to determine whether or not the planet's inhabitants are worth sparing. Naturally the alien evaluator (a.k.a. Ketchvar) has to occupy a body to do a real investigation and naturally he ends up taking over the body of the most tormented boy on the planet (a.k.a. Tom). Hardly any of the dialogue has a natural ring to it--characters trot out oddly dated expressions like "fix your wagon" or "clean your clock" and I have a hard time believing any respectable high schooler would choose the clinical-sounding "gonads" over "balls". Also, too much of the humor of Ketchvar's fish-out-of-water scenario is derived from (here's something novel) his overly literal interpretation of the human vernacular and his excessive formality. All might be lost, but side plots involving the relationship between Tom and his father and environmental activism, while resolved far too easily to feel very realistic, carry some emotional resonance...particularly in light of current events.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    While reading Stuck on Earth by David Klass, I was engaged with the book after Chapter 5. This book is about a boy named Tom who is an weird alien who goes through hardships within his life on Earth. Fortunately, Tom met this pretty girl named Michelle Peabody who was originally Scott's girlfriends, but towards the end of book, Michelle end up liking Tom because of his personality. I would recommend reading this book because this book isn't just Science Fiction—it has a little bit of Romance in While reading Stuck on Earth by David Klass, I was engaged with the book after Chapter 5. This book is about a boy named Tom who is an weird alien who goes through hardships within his life on Earth. Fortunately, Tom met this pretty girl named Michelle Peabody who was originally Scott's girlfriends, but towards the end of book, Michelle end up liking Tom because of his personality. I would recommend reading this book because this book isn't just Science Fiction—it has a little bit of Romance in this book because Tom and Michelle kiss each other towards the end of the book. The author use of words is very clear and understandable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dylan S

    I am currently reading Stuck On Earth by David Klass. I think the theme of my book is bullying because my main character Tom is an overweight alien. I can tell this is the theme because kids like to pick on them they call him lots of mean names like doughnut head, fat-so, pimple face, and chunky muffin. At school during recess bully's like to punch him, kick him, and make fun of him, and at home his sister is mean and obnoxious to him and punches and kicks him, once she even threw him out the I am currently reading Stuck On Earth by David Klass. I think the theme of my book is bullying because my main character Tom is an overweight alien. I can tell this is the theme because kids like to pick on them they call him lots of mean names like doughnut head, fat-so, pimple face, and chunky muffin. At school during recess bully's like to punch him, kick him, and make fun of him, and at home his sister is mean and obnoxious to him and punches and kicks him, once she even threw him out the window. And his mom is really rude to him and dosent respect him at all. So the theme is bullying because he is stuck on earth surrounded by bully's and rude people who dis-respect him.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andree Sanborn

    Stuck on Earth Of the DCF books I have read, this is my favorite. I was very doubtful that I would like this in the beginning but Klass quickly got my attention, made me smile, horrified me with some scenes and generally got me totally involved in the life of Tom Filber, the main character. The book moves quickly and is rich with detail. A wrench is thrown into the plot just after the midpoint of the novel and continues until the end. This wrench will create marvelous classroom discussions that Stuck on Earth Of the DCF books I have read, this is my favorite. I was very doubtful that I would like this in the beginning but Klass quickly got my attention, made me smile, horrified me with some scenes and generally got me totally involved in the life of Tom Filber, the main character. The book moves quickly and is rich with detail. A wrench is thrown into the plot just after the midpoint of the novel and continues until the end. This wrench will create marvelous classroom discussions that every student will probably contribute to. A great read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pages For Thoughts

    Stuck on Earth is super bizarre, nothing like I've ever read, and a book I can never forget! This book is very ironic and satirical, especially in the age of nuclear weapons and global warming. We often wonder ourselves if humanity is worthy of the Earth, and in the age of global warming we are destroying our precious home rather than saving it. I loved how this book conveyed those messages and spoke of real environmental issues, as well as what we can do as individuals to clean up our mess. Stuck on Earth is super bizarre, nothing like I've ever read, and a book I can never forget! This book is very ironic and satirical, especially in the age of nuclear weapons and global warming. We often wonder ourselves if humanity is worthy of the Earth, and in the age of global warming we are destroying our precious home rather than saving it. I loved how this book conveyed those messages and spoke of real environmental issues, as well as what we can do as individuals to clean up our mess. Read way more of my review at http://pagesforthoughts.blogspot.com/...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Allison Anders

    David Klass's Stuck On Earth captured me with the interesting story line and surprising ending. The author gives us the perspective of Ketchvar, as he controls the mind of Tom, and tries to survive the 9th grade. Even though it proves to be a tough task. Tom is constantly bullied at his school, but with his new friendship with Michelle the neighbor girl, he puts an end to the nonstop dread of school. The story takes place in New Jersey, in a small town called Barrisford. Our main character has an David Klass's Stuck On Earth captured me with the interesting story line and surprising ending. The author gives us the perspective of Ketchvar, as he controls the mind of Tom, and tries to survive the 9th grade. Even though it proves to be a tough task. Tom is constantly bullied at his school, but with his new friendship with Michelle the neighbor girl, he puts an end to the nonstop dread of school. The story takes place in New Jersey, in a small town called Barrisford. Our main character has an ordinary life where he attends Winthrop P. Muller High School. He also lives at 330 Beech Avenue. Briefly our character visits other locations such as the factory and the river which you can hear about if you read the book. The main characters are Tom Filber, Ketchvar 3, Michelle Peabody, Sally Filber, Mr. Filber, Mrs. Filber, Jason Harbishaw, Zitface, and there is a few minor characters as well but we don't need to go into detail about them. Tom is a 14 year old boy who's body is taken over by an alien named Ketchvar 3. Ketchvar 3 is an alien from the planet Sandoval 7. Michelle Peabody is the next door neighbor of Tom and they and up liking each other. Sally is Tom's mean sister who plays the cello. She and Tom are constantly arguing which sometimes leads to violence. Mr Filber is Tom's father, and Mrs Filber is Tom's mother. His mother and father often fight. Jason Harbishaw is the bully at school that bullied Tom all throughout the story. And Zitface is Jason's friend. The main conflicts are when Tom and Michelle sneak into the factory, when Tom's email gets sent and the whole school sees it, and when Tom gets captured at the end by Jason. The most exciting part of the novel in my opinion would be when Tom and Michelle sneak into the factory. It is exciting because Michelle passes out and Tom is the hero. The sirens go off and he must carry her up the wall to get away from the vicious guard dogs. In conclusion, David Klass's Stuck On Earth is an out of this world novel that I would definitely recommend! Infact I shared this book with my family. It is action packed, and I love how Ketchvar describes Earthly objects like what they seem to an alien. Another book by Klass's is You Don't Know Me. I am excited to read that one in the future.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Debra Daniels-zeller

    I don't usually slect science fiction but picked this book up on Best Bets and found the story rather intriguing. A snail from another planet takes over a 14 year old's mind in order to decide whether the human race should live or be killed. The determining factor was whether humans were capable of producing anything at all worth while. I think some of the characters had limited dimensions for the story, but the main character was cute and I like the way the snail took over his brain. Bullies, I don't usually slect science fiction but picked this book up on Best Bets and found the story rather intriguing. A snail from another planet takes over a 14 year old's mind in order to decide whether the human race should live or be killed. The determining factor was whether humans were capable of producing anything at all worth while. I think some of the characters had limited dimensions for the story, but the main character was cute and I like the way the snail took over his brain. Bullies, girls, parents who argue and sibbling rivalry are just a few of the issues the main character faces. I like the way the reader is thrown into doubt about 3/4 of the way thorugh the book with quesions of was this just a dream? I also like that it wasn't a dream and the way action was ramped up so the whole town's drinking water seemed at stake because of the toxins from the paint factory pouring into the water. The only thing I didn't like was the story seemed to end so quickly. What happend to the bully who was in trouble with his mother? Some questions hadn't been completely answered for me in the end but it was a great story anyway.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aiyana

    Marvelous. Earth through the eyes of skeptical aliens... or is it really about our species' own judgment of ourselves and each other? The book starts off as a bit simplistic, lighthearted, and witty, but becomes increasingly complex and thought-provoking. If you find yourself rolling your eyes at the silliness of the first few chapters, keep reading and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike Kauffeld

    Fun read that keeps you guessing and leaves you wondering....

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emily Dean

    I picked this book for a teen book discussion I was hosting at my library because I needed a book that was good for patrons in grades 6-10. Our summer reading theme this year is "outer space" and I wanted a good tie in. This book was perfect for that age group in terms of themes and reading level. This book opened up discussions about bullying and protecting our environment and gave us more than enough to talk about for an hour. The kids seemed to really like it and thought it was funny. I I picked this book for a teen book discussion I was hosting at my library because I needed a book that was good for patrons in grades 6-10. Our summer reading theme this year is "outer space" and I wanted a good tie in. This book was perfect for that age group in terms of themes and reading level. This book opened up discussions about bullying and protecting our environment and gave us more than enough to talk about for an hour. The kids seemed to really like it and thought it was funny. I thought it was okay overal, I thought it was thought provoking for that age group but not so much for me. My biggest complaint was that it seemed a little outdated. The way the kids talked to each other felt archaic and a little too fake. The characters were pretty flat as well. Overall, I wouldn't have any problem recommending this to younger teens looking for a fast-paced read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Luke Sewell

    The book stuck on earth was a phenomenal book in my eyes. I felt that the book did a great job appealing to what I had wanted. The book was supposed to be a science fiction comedy but really all it needed to be was a science fiction book. Some of the parts were funny and I will give you that but all in all I felt that this book was not as funny as I had hoped. It was funny at very certain parts but mostly it could have just been a book on how an alien was judging the human race. The main The book stuck on earth was a phenomenal book in my eyes. I felt that the book did a great job appealing to what I had wanted. The book was supposed to be a science fiction comedy but really all it needed to be was a science fiction book. Some of the parts were funny and I will give you that but all in all I felt that this book was not as funny as I had hoped. It was funny at very certain parts but mostly it could have just been a book on how an alien was judging the human race. The main characters of the book were very well detailed. The main character named Ketchvar is an alien snail like being who inhabits a 14 year old boy’s body that is named Tom Filber. The main objective for Ketchvar is to judge whether the human race is able and worthy to live on the planet earth. Ketchvar faces many problems from Tom’s family who is not at all happy and who are abusive to Tom, to the school days which are the worst for Ketchvar. He also has to deal with Tom’s consciousness fighting against Ketchvar trying to get him out of his body. There are also many good aspects to Ketchvar’s time on Earth. He meets Tom’s one true love and for the first time in his life feels these feelings and emotions that he had trained so hard to try to control. He also is able to help the Earth by stopping a business from polluting it any further. He feels the emotion of love and sadness having to be away from his home planet and he has no choice but to stay due to the fact that his spaceship has left for some distant planet. He deals with bullies and his family alike but he also meets a very nice guidance counselor and he joins a school club. Ketchvar had to deal with many everyday things that he has never experienced before and he rarely knows what to do.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I purchased this book about a fourteen-year-old boy who is "taken over" by an alien life form in the alien's attempt to determine the value of humankind because it was on the recommended titles list developed by The Child Study Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College, which is no shabby group. It was recommended for students age 12 - 14. What the recommendation (along with others I found) did not say was that within the first 20 pages, you will encounter a colorful variety of curse I purchased this book about a fourteen-year-old boy who is "taken over" by an alien life form in the alien's attempt to determine the value of humankind because it was on the recommended titles list developed by The Child Study Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College, which is no shabby group. It was recommended for students age 12 - 14. What the recommendation (along with others I found) did not say was that within the first 20 pages, you will encounter a colorful variety of curse words. Not the "big ticket" items, but most of them including that wonderful word women like to hear other women referred to because it is so esteem building...rhymes with witch if you're still guessing. These words did nothing to add to the story line and the only redeeming factor is that they were all said by the "bad guys" in the story. That said, this is a really good story about a boy who has been bullied and harassed his whole life, has a miserable home life, and really just wants to find his place in this world. His alien-on-board questions the worth of humankind but finds himself drawn to our plight, particularly the struggle through adolescence. Klass is able to weave a wonderful, sometimes witty and sometimes tragic, story that includes (to name a few) environmentalism, bullying, broken homes and how they can heal, and growing up. I really do think grades 7 though 9 or 10 would really enjoy the heart of the story but wish Klass had refrained from using the "bad words." They aren't needed and will certainly detract from his audience in the school library market.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeretta Hall-Robinson

    Stuck on Earth is a cute story of how an alien comes down to Earth, takes over the body of a geeky teenage boy and has to evaluate if the human race should survive or be terminated so the planet can be given to someone else. The first few chapters are extremely funny. The alien, Ketchvar III, has a difficult time adapting to Tom Filber's tough home life and even tougher school situation. When things start to go wrong, Ketchvar needs to get out of here fast. But his ship has temporarily been Stuck on Earth is a cute story of how an alien comes down to Earth, takes over the body of a geeky teenage boy and has to evaluate if the human race should survive or be terminated so the planet can be given to someone else. The first few chapters are extremely funny. The alien, Ketchvar III, has a difficult time adapting to Tom Filber's tough home life and even tougher school situation. When things start to go wrong, Ketchvar needs to get out of here fast. But his ship has temporarily been summoned to help another planet and will be back soon. Until then, he has to tough it out. But he also learns about the wide variety of human emotions, behaviors and the ability to actually make a difference. It was a cute story in the beginning and at the end. But the middle is were it kind of gets dicey. In the story, his "sister" Sally actually finds out the alien secret and lets everyone in the world know. But she and everyone believe that Tom is merely making it all up. And for a while, even Ketchvar believes it. But he soon comes to his senses and remembers who he is. It's this part that I have to most trouble with in the story. Sally never really gets her dues and she really had no reason to behave that way. Also, Ketchvar's struggle with Tom and his consciousness, makes the story begin to delve into psychological issues a little bit and it just feels kind of out of place. Overall, the story was good. Probably could have brought out the dilemma in the story a little bit better than using his sister.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    What a delightful read! Now, I am sure I am reading far more into this book then I should, but hey that's the beautiful of a story. It is all up to the reader's interpretation! Here's my take on the book and why I liked it so much. Stuck on Earth is the story of Ketchvar the Third, a snail like alien from another planet who has been tasked with a mission. The mission: To decide whether or not Earth should be destroyed. And how will he decide: By inhabiting a human's body (Tom Filber, to be What a delightful read! Now, I am sure I am reading far more into this book then I should, but hey that's the beautiful of a story. It is all up to the reader's interpretation! Here's my take on the book and why I liked it so much. Stuck on Earth is the story of Ketchvar the Third, a snail like alien from another planet who has been tasked with a mission. The mission: To decide whether or not Earth should be destroyed. And how will he decide: By inhabiting a human's body (Tom Filber, to be exact) and living as an Earthling. At least, that is the story on the surface. Your average SciFi-cliche: peace loving alien comes to Earth and learns that we ain't so bad. But the real story, in my mind, is Tom's. A boy who has been torment, abused, and mocked his whole life. A boy that doesn't seem to fit in. Who is called Alien by his peers. Who just might be escaping from reality.... And that's where the lines blurred for me, and this seemingly simple straight forward story became something more. And, I must admit, just like Ketchvar, I'm not sure what this book's reality is. Frankly, it makes me adore the story even more. Klass's sets a fanatics tone, his plot's twists and turns kept me from putting the novel down, his characters' growth were heartwarming, and while the story tackled some common themes (abuse, broken families, environmental issues, bullies, etc.) it was done in a witty and interesting way. This is not an earth-shattering read, just a really great story told extremely well, in my humble opinion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ahna Sky

    I read in the past couple months Stuck on Earth by David Klass. This book is a science fictional story about an alien who abducts a normal teenage boy, Tom Filber, goes inside him and takes over his brain, and lives a “normal” American teenager's life to determine if the alien race should destroy all human life. The story starts out with the boy's back round. He has a mean stepmother, a bratty sister, and an alcoholic dad who spends his time upstairs in front of the TV. But don't worry, there is I read in the past couple months Stuck on Earth by David Klass. This book is a science fictional story about an alien who abducts a normal teenage boy, Tom Filber, goes inside him and takes over his brain, and lives a “normal” American teenager's life to determine if the alien race should destroy all human life. The story starts out with the boy's back round. He has a mean stepmother, a bratty sister, and an alcoholic dad who spends his time upstairs in front of the TV. But don't worry, there is one good thing in Tom's life, and that “thing” is Michelle Peabody. She lives next door to Tom, and he is completely and utterly in love with her. Through out the book the alien makes some funny mistakes and he learns that life as a teenager is not as easy as it looks. As time goes on he gets used to the human world... and starts to fall in love. He finds himself not wanting to leave, definitely not wanting to destroy humankind. I found a lot of figurative language and a lot of personification. The writer really showed the story and the scenes, rather than telling them. I really enjoyed the way he described objects and images, as if he was not from this planet. It put a funny perspective on every day things. This was a pretty good book and it keeps you reading. I would recommend this to anyone who likes science fiction books. I would also recommend it to people who like high school tales.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary Meghan

    Stuck on Earth was an 8 out of ten. I found this book by myself; just plucked it off the shelf after seeing the title on the side. Then I read the back and cover flaps, and decided to read it, and I am glad I did. I found a funny, original story. I found some of the vocabulary of the high schoolers not very accurate of how they really speak, and the cursing added nothing to the story line. Perhaps it was just to make sure the book was placed under the young adult genre, because it was very Stuck on Earth was an 8 out of ten. I found this book by myself; just plucked it off the shelf after seeing the title on the side. Then I read the back and cover flaps, and decided to read it, and I am glad I did. I found a funny, original story. I found some of the vocabulary of the high schoolers not very accurate of how they really speak, and the cursing added nothing to the story line. Perhaps it was just to make sure the book was placed under the young adult genre, because it was very simple. The environmental message kind of got on my nerves as I did not expect to be preached to. The kissing kind of put me off. The dysfunctionality of Tom Filber's family and the arguing and sometimes miserable tone sometimes made me stop reading for the time being. The ending was not satisfying; I literally flipped the page to read me and was disappointed to see that it had ended that abruptly. But the book was interesting and kept me hooked; I read it in 2 days. Its a good read for travel or if you are in between books.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Fun science fiction! Ketchvar comes to earth and takes over the body of the ill-fated Tom Filber-- by crawling through his nose and implanting himself in Tom's brain. Ketchvar can access Tom' thoughts if he needs them while he is evaluating whether or not the earth should be destroyed, but does act and talk in decidedly alien ways while he isn't. Tom wasn't a good choice for a host-- his family life is impossible, and he is a target of bullies in his school. Ketchvar reports back to his planet, Fun science fiction! Ketchvar comes to earth and takes over the body of the ill-fated Tom Filber-- by crawling through his nose and implanting himself in Tom's brain. Ketchvar can access Tom' thoughts if he needs them while he is evaluating whether or not the earth should be destroyed, but does act and talk in decidedly alien ways while he isn't. Tom wasn't a good choice for a host-- his family life is impossible, and he is a target of bullies in his school. Ketchvar reports back to his planet, hiding his files under names no human would take the trouble to decode-- How to Saute a Skunk, Old Hip-Hop Songs That Sucked-- and comes to the eventual conclusion, helped along by his budding relationship with the pretty Melissa, that the inhabitants of Earth should not be destroyed. Klass already has big hits at my library with You Don't Know Me(2002), Danger Zone(1996) and Wrestling With Honor (1990), and I would LOVE to see him do more humorous books. This was great, and the cover is shiny and much more attractive in person.

  19. 5 out of 5

    LCPL Teens

    David Klass' "Stuck on Earth" is a quirky, humorous look at humanity through the eyes of Ketchvar, a snail-like alien whose job it is to evaluate whether there is enough merit in the society created by homo sapiens to spare their lives. If humanity is not worth saving, a death ray will annihilate the species, making room on earth for an alien society whose sun is about to supernova. Ketchvar inhabits the body of a bullied 14 year old boy, named Tom whose problems also include an abusive mom, an David Klass' "Stuck on Earth" is a quirky, humorous look at humanity through the eyes of Ketchvar, a snail-like alien whose job it is to evaluate whether there is enough merit in the society created by homo sapiens to spare their lives. If humanity is not worth saving, a death ray will annihilate the species, making room on earth for an alien society whose sun is about to supernova. Ketchvar inhabits the body of a bullied 14 year old boy, named Tom whose problems also include an abusive mom, an alcoholic dad, and a mean, cell-playing sister. Ketchvar makes some classic mistakes using or understanding slang resulting in some entertaining exchanges with earthlings. As the book tagline says, "which is harder-- saving the planet or surviving life as a teenager?" Will Ketchvar find enough good in earthlings to spare them, or will his time as a teenager result in the destruction of our world? To find this book in the LCPL catalog, click here

  20. 5 out of 5

    P.M.

    Ketchvar !!!, a 2,000 year old Grade 5 Evaluator from Sandoval, has been sent to Earth to decide if the human race is worthy of survival or overdue for elimination. It seems that a more worthy race is stuck on a planet with a nearby black hole. Ketchvar takes over the body of 14 year old freshman Tom Filber to do his undercover work. However, Tom is a seemingly poor choice because he is bullied at school and has a nasty, vindictive older sister, an alcoholic father, and an abusive mother. Ketchvar !!!, a 2,000 year old Grade 5 Evaluator from Sandoval, has been sent to Earth to decide if the human race is worthy of survival or overdue for elimination. It seems that a more worthy race is stuck on a planet with a nearby black hole. Ketchvar takes over the body of 14 year old freshman Tom Filber to do his undercover work. However, Tom is a seemingly poor choice because he is bullied at school and has a nasty, vindictive older sister, an alcoholic father, and an abusive mother. Somehow Ketchvar navigates himself through the intricacies of high school while exposing an environmental hazard. When Tom is almost killed, Tom's dad comes to the rescue and makes a new start. A romance with neighbor Michelle convinces Ketchvar that Earthlings deserve a chance. I really liked this book. Ketchvar is a wonderful character with all his skills and gadgetry. This book also tackles the current issue of bullying. I would have given it 5 stars had it been longer. I wanted to know what happened when Ketchvar got back to his burrow and participated in the Great Squeak.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    I found many parts of this book hilarious. I could not help but laugh out loud. Ketchvar, the alien who invades Tom's body is surprised to find out that he is inhabiting a body of a boy who's nickname is "Alien"! Just Ketchvar's luck. Ketchvar tries to blend in but with his formal language people start to wonder why Tom is acting like an alien. Everyday Ketchvar reports to his mothership but when this reports are sent to the entire student body, Ketchvar questions if he is really an alien or is I found many parts of this book hilarious. I could not help but laugh out loud. Ketchvar, the alien who invades Tom's body is surprised to find out that he is inhabiting a body of a boy who's nickname is "Alien"! Just Ketchvar's luck. Ketchvar tries to blend in but with his formal language people start to wonder why Tom is acting like an alien. Everyday Ketchvar reports to his mothership but when this reports are sent to the entire student body, Ketchvar questions if he is really an alien or is it in his imagination? This book was a refreshing change from the typical alien invasion story. Teens starting high school will be able to relate to the trials of fitting in at school and having a crush on the girl next door. There is even an environmental message on preserving the planet that fits nicely in the story. Overall I thought this book was good and would interest both boys and girls.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    Stuck on Earth by David Klass is about Ketchvar III doing reconnaissance work in the body of a teenage boy. His goal — decide if Earth should be annihilated. Ketchvar is a snail shaped and sized creature, small enough to slip into the head of Tom Filber. Tom's isn't exactly happy. There's a lot of home stress — enough so that those who know Tom begin to suspect he's cracking under the pressure. Interestingly, Ketchvar begins to believe this story too. Ketchvar, though, gets caught up in Tom's life Stuck on Earth by David Klass is about Ketchvar III doing reconnaissance work in the body of a teenage boy. His goal — decide if Earth should be annihilated. Ketchvar is a snail shaped and sized creature, small enough to slip into the head of Tom Filber. Tom's isn't exactly happy. There's a lot of home stress — enough so that those who know Tom begin to suspect he's cracking under the pressure. Interestingly, Ketchvar begins to believe this story too. Ketchvar, though, gets caught up in Tom's life and like Marc Chang of Fairly OddParents, grows to love Earth for all its dysfunction. For this reason, I imaged Chang's booming somewhat surfer dude voice as Ketchvar's. I found the book a light and enjoyable read. There were a few moments that made me think — Tom's inner dialog with Ketchvar as a stand in for mental illness, and the environmental questions — is the world better off with or without mankind.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Librariann

    Ages 11+ Booktalk: Do not be alarmed, earthling. My name is Ketchvar. Please try to relax. I have no plans to ingest you. Nor am I interested in dissecting you to learn about human anatomy. And here’s some more good news: I also do not intend to try to impregnate you. You were chosen because you were the perfect age. We need a fourteen year old. It is a great honor. It won’t hurt. It will all be over in a second. I’m just going to slither through your nostril, crawl into your cranium, and take Ages 11+ Booktalk: Do not be alarmed, earthling. My name is Ketchvar. Please try to relax. I have no plans to ingest you. Nor am I interested in dissecting you to learn about human anatomy. And here’s some more good news: I also do not intend to try to impregnate you. You were chosen because you were the perfect age. We need a fourteen year old. It is a great honor. It won’t hurt. It will all be over in a second. I’m just going to slither through your nostril, crawl into your cranium, and take possession of your brain. I need you to help me. We’re going to work together. That’s how Tom Filber was taken over. Ketchvar the alien has a very difficult task ahead of him, and he holds the fate of humanity in his hands. Should his species activate a death ray that will erase the human species for good? Or is it possible that homo sapiens are really worth saving?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    I've never been a big fan of the coming-of-age-I-hate-the-world-well-maybe-I-don't novel a la Catcher in the Rye or The Perks of Being a Wallflower. David Klass' Stuck on Earth suits me better. Brisk, fun, and generally light hearted, the book still manages to deal with some of the tumultuous aspects of being an adolescent, but in the creative way of having an alien tasked with deciding the fate of humanity take over the body of a typical 14-year old boy. The book is not the most earth I've never been a big fan of the coming-of-age-I-hate-the-world-well-maybe-I-don't novel a la Catcher in the Rye or The Perks of Being a Wallflower. David Klass' Stuck on Earth suits me better. Brisk, fun, and generally light hearted, the book still manages to deal with some of the tumultuous aspects of being an adolescent, but in the creative way of having an alien tasked with deciding the fate of humanity take over the body of a typical 14-year old boy. The book is not the most earth shattering young adult novel, but I would still greatly consider it as a summer reading book for 7th, 8th, and maybe even 9th graders. There's enough in here to spark some quality discussions about the pressures of that age in a relatively non-threatening way. Good quirky fun.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Ketchvar IIII is a snail type form who has been beamed down to planet Earth and who has invaded the brain of a 14-year-old boy named Tom. Tom is ironically called Alien by all the bullies at school. Ketchvar's mission is to evaluate whether humankind deserves to continue living or be wiped out for another species. With his stiff, formal speech patterns, he becomes even more the target of bullies. On top of the “voluntary daily incarceration” that is school, his home life is no better. When his Ketchvar IIII is a snail type form who has been beamed down to planet Earth and who has invaded the brain of a 14-year-old boy named Tom. Tom is ironically called Alien by all the bullies at school. Ketchvar's mission is to evaluate whether humankind deserves to continue living or be wiped out for another species. With his stiff, formal speech patterns, he becomes even more the target of bullies. On top of the “voluntary daily incarceration” that is school, his home life is no better. When his sister blogs his notes to the mother-ship to the whole school, even Ketchvar has to wonder if he's really an alien, or just a really messed up kid. To to of this funny, satirical novel, there is a cute girl next door and an environmental mess that he has to solve.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Humans have not been appreciating this wonderful planet they inhabit. They've been destroying it's animals, environment, and each other. So when the Lugonians (inhabitants of another planet in our universe) find out that their planet will soon be destroyed and they'll need a new home, they send a researcher (Ketchvar III) to infiltrate a 14 year old boy's brain to find out if humans are worthy of keeping their planet. And on first instincts Ketchvar is willing to pull the plug and annihilate the Humans have not been appreciating this wonderful planet they inhabit. They've been destroying it's animals, environment, and each other. So when the Lugonians (inhabitants of another planet in our universe) find out that their planet will soon be destroyed and they'll need a new home, they send a researcher (Ketchvar III) to infiltrate a 14 year old boy's brain to find out if humans are worthy of keeping their planet. And on first instincts Ketchvar is willing to pull the plug and annihilate the human race. For spending one day in Tom Filber's brain has been a day full of bullying, hatred, yelling, family disfunction, and wasted resources. But as Ketchvar gives it more time, he find out that there is some hope to the human race. But will it be enough to save them?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karis (YA Litwit) Jacobstein

    What a great book! At first I thought I was reading another sci-fi, alien invasion story. I could not have been more wrong! This is a fabulous story about finding out who yojavascript:{};u are, whether you are an alien, human, adult, teen, etc. I couldn't put this one down. With a great balance of wit, humor, and true feeling, this story is relevant to anyone who is in or has ever been in middle school of high school. I've read a few reviews that complain about some of the cursing the kids use What a great book! At first I thought I was reading another sci-fi, alien invasion story. I could not have been more wrong! This is a fabulous story about finding out who yojavascript:{};u are, whether you are an alien, human, adult, teen, etc. I couldn't put this one down. With a great balance of wit, humor, and true feeling, this story is relevant to anyone who is in or has ever been in middle school of high school. I've read a few reviews that complain about some of the cursing the kids use (mild- no f-bombs), but honestly, this book wouldn't be as accurate a portrayal of kids that age if it weren't there. Let's face it, teenagers curse. Often. That said, I find nothing at all objectionable in this book, and would say that it is appropriate for grades 5+.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    An alien comes to evaluate if the humans should be allowed to keep the earth or if it would be kinder to extinguish them. I love the extra-terrestrial view from the body of the 14 year old he inhabits. The kid turns out to be an outcast and have an unhappy family. He has the girl next door who is at least kinder to him. He experiences bullying, violence and testosterone (that the alien controls) but also compassion, concern and a desire to "become a man" by being courageous. I found it quite An alien comes to evaluate if the humans should be allowed to keep the earth or if it would be kinder to extinguish them. I love the extra-terrestrial view from the body of the 14 year old he inhabits. The kid turns out to be an outcast and have an unhappy family. He has the girl next door who is at least kinder to him. He experiences bullying, violence and testosterone (that the alien controls) but also compassion, concern and a desire to "become a man" by being courageous. I found it quite sweet.(there is some swearing d-, h-, a suggestion of "slipping the tongue", a father who drinks a lot and an unkind mother and sister)13 and up

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Wawer

    A snail-like alien takes over 14-year-old Tom Filbur's brain to determine whether the human race has enough redeeming qualities to avoid annihilation by death ray so that another alien race can move in. Watching Tom being bullied and ignored from an alien point of view is wickedly funny and skewered. What starts as an ordinary alien-meets teenager trope deepens into a clever look at the travails of being human and how we perceive and react to one another.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Beidleman

    This is the best book I've read so far this summer! An alien life form that resembles a snail invades a 14 year old boy's body. It's mission is to determine if the human race should be saved or exterminated. I expected the humor and was not disappointed. What surprised me was the way the book dealt with deeper issues like abuse and mental illness...many different layers in this one!

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