A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A kid is resistant to most adult authority, but tends to comply after making a bit of a fuss. While Julian may not appreciate them, his parents are patient, kind, and keep their sense of humor with most of Julian's antics.
Positive Role Models
Julian's parental units are kind and caring.
Violence & Scariness
Two girls harass a schoolmate and play keep-away with his bookbag.
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Mild name calling, like "brainiac."
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Products & Purchases
One mention of Ring Dings.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Julian Rodriguez, Episode One: Trash Crisis on Earth is the story of a space alien sent to Earth that features is typical disagreement between parents' rules and expectations and what kids want.
Is It Any Good?
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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