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Julian Rodriguez, Episode One: Trash Crisis on Earth

By Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Funny story of alien on Earth, perfect for "Wimpy Kid" fans.

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Kids say (1 ):

Author Alexander Stadler has written a cool, funny, and fast-paced story. It will especially appeal to reluctant readers and fans of other illustration-driven novels like the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. And like Kinney, Stadler does a great job appealing to basic kid feelings -- that school is torture and adults are out to thwart fun at every opportunity -- in a clever and entertaining way.

At some point in time, every kid has felt like they were from another planet and just here to observe the weird social interactions among humans. And how strange it is that the parents Julian is "assigned" to live with don't understand his need for a steady diet of TV and junk food? Readers will wonder if Julian really is an alien or if he just wishes he were. Either way, referring to his parents as Maternal and Paternal Units and expounding on the value of cartoons is sure to get a couple of loud guffaws. Added to the clever dialogue and Julian's rants on favorite kid activities like teasing and standardized testing, are some pretty cool illustrations. The stilted style evokes feelings of "otherworldliness" and really make the book come alive.

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