Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce

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The overall themes of home, family, and one’s place in the universe are reflected in moments of quiet sweetness...A raucous adventure with a heart of gold.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce, with illustrations by Steven Lenton, will send your imagination into orbit!

The Blythes are a big, warm, rambunctious family who live on a small farm and sometimes foster children. Now Prez has come to live with them. But, though he seems cheerful and helpful, he never says a word.

Then one day Prez answers the door to someone claiming to be his relative. This small, loud stranger carries a backpack, walks with a swagger and goes by the name of Sputnik.

As Prez dithers on the doorstep, Sputnik strolls right past him and introduces himself to everyone in the household. Prez is amazed at the response. The family pat Sputnik on the head, call him a good boy and drop food into his mouth. It seems they all think Sputnik is a dog. It's only Prez who thinks otherwise.

But Prez soon finds himself having to defend the family from the chaos and danger unleashed by Sputnik, as household items come to life - like a TV remote that fast-forwards people: 'Anyone can do it, it's just that people don't read the instructions properly'; and a toy lightsaber that entertains guests at a children's party, until one of them is nearly decapitated by it - and Prez is going to have to use his voice to explain himself.

It turns out that Sputnik is writing a guidebook to Earth called Ten Things Worth Doing on Earth, and he takes Prez on a journey to discover just those ten things. Each adventure seems to take Prez nearer to the heart of the family he is being fostered by. But they also take him closer to the day that he is due to leave them forever . . .

 

About Frank Cottrell Boyce

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Frank Cottrell Boyce is an award-winning author and screenwriter. Millions, his debut children's novel, won the CILIP Carnegie Medal. He is also the author of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, Cosmic, Framed and The Astounding Broccoli Boy. His books have been shortlisted for a multitude of prizes, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Whitbread Children's Fiction Award (now the Costa Book Award) and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize.Frank is a judge for the BBC Radio 2 500 Words competition and, along with Danny Boyle, devised the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. He lives in Merseyside with his family.
 
Published April 7, 2016 by Macmillan Children's Books. 352 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 15 2017

The overall themes of home, family, and one’s place in the universe are reflected in moments of quiet sweetness...A raucous adventure with a heart of gold.

Read Full Review of Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth | See more reviews from Kirkus

Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by James Lovegrove on May 20 2016

Boyce’s freewheeling and sometimes absurd sense of humour is allied with some subtly sophisticated plotting, to life-affirming effect.

Read Full Review of Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth | See more reviews from Financial Times
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