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Author: O'Donnell, Tom
Chorkle narrates the adventures of Earth children Hollins, Becky, Nicki, and Little Gus, marooned on his asteroid, Gelo, as he watches over them with his five eyes, teaches them to fight a ferocious thyss-cat, and seeks a way to get them home.
Space Rocks!, Bk. 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 166599
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (03/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2014 Life on the asteroid Gelo for young Chorkle and the other Xotonians has changed completely since a ship full of humans landed on their planet to start mining iridium. When the Xotonians engineer an asteroid quake to finally frighten off the human spaceship, four human kids get left behind during the emergency takeoff, and Chorkle (who had actually been on a recon mission to spy on the kids) ends up leading the kids to safety through tunnels infested with ravenous thyss-cats. During their underground trek, Chorkle and the group discover a Xotonian ruined city and a battle between the Xotonians and the Vorem, an alien species bent on universal domination and whom most residents of Gelo had believed mythical. What appears at first glance to be a tale of kooky alien-human antics, complete with cultural misunderstandings, linguistic adjustment, and fried cave slugs (“Xotonian burritos”) actually ends up as hard sci-fi, with universe-saving epic battles and complicated moral choices, making for a richer reading experience. Unfortunately, the transition from madcap to meaningful is jarring and the pace uneven, with the first part rather tediously drawn out and the conclusion too rushed. The tone is similarly bumpy, mixing galactic grandeur with gleeful silliness and a misplaced touch of romance between two of the kids at the end. Chorkle is endearing as a narrator, though, enthusiastic even as an outsider in the Xotonian world, and the humor throughout makes this a possible stepping-stone for readers needing a leg up before tackling more traditional stellar epics. TA - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.