Cover Image: Dear Earthling

Dear Earthling

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Member Reviews

DEAR EARTHLING is a clever graphic novel written and illustrated by Pen Avey. This epistolary middle-grade novel is a clever take on middle-grade pen pals from different galaxies -- one from the planet CRANK and one on Earth. Readers will enjoy the word play and cleverly imagined  "almost-like-Earth" quality of every day life in another galaxy. The hero, Dethbert Jones, has joined the "Space Cadets" and hopes to earn this "Cosmic Correspondent" badge by striking up a correspondence with a human his age from Earth (ostensibly, the reader). 

What might have made this book even more enjoyable for me would have been if there had been an Earthling actually writing back so we could have the natural back-and-forth flow of pen pals being voiced by two separate characters. Sometimes the story gets a little "one-note' with word play, funny nicknames, or fart jokes. 

All said, I think young readers who love graphic novel. and interest in space and a good sense of humor will enjoy DEAR EARTHLING. The accompanying illustrations are fun sketches of life on the planet CRANK, and there are thoughtful moments about caring for one's planet, the problem with little sisters, and what it means to be human. Recommend.
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A special thanks to Netgalley for giving me an advanced copy of this book to read and review. Even though I read it initially, due to personal reasons, I couldn’t review it prior to the publication. So here it is now 🙂

At times, it is just fun to pick up a silly book and read it and have a good laugh, and “Dear Earthling: Cosmic Correspondent” does exactly that. This book was quirky and entertaining to read. The story is fun and breezy and would mainly entertain younger readers.

There are several things which I enjoyed about this book. Firstly, I liked the way in which each chapter is told via letter correspondence between Dethbert Jones and the Earthling. Even though the characters are unbelievable, reading their letters makes the reader relate to them better. Secondly, I liked the how the author blends science fiction elements perfectly in way that younger readers can relate to. There are different gadgets, animals and trips to outer space that makes this book very creative. The author also included some terms like “parpled” and “sloshing” which sounds really funny. However, the author has used these terms in a way that the reader would understand what it is.

I particularly found the story very interesting when Dethbert and Andi crash into the island and meet the Clawed Beastie. It was interesting to see how they would get out of the predicament. Pen Avey has done a very nice job in creating the world and the characters for the story. She is perfect for writing these types of novels and I am keen in picking up some of her other works as well. I am not sure who the illustrator is, but the sketches add beautifully to compliment the plot.

While I would not give “Dear Earthling: Cosmic Correspondent” a 5 star rating as I would have liked something meaningful and substantial also added to it, I did find it entertaining and would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars for its uniqueness and creativity.
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This book was okay. I do think however, that some kids would really enjoy it.


Thank you NetGalley
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Dear Earthling is a middle grade book full of fun stories and a epic space story.

We follow Derthbert Jones as he exchanges letters with a "earthling" so he can win a badge from his scout group. He lives in Crank, a planet much like Earth but who's more pacific, so much more they don't even have police anymore! And using a matching machine he found the 'earthling' much like him so they could have a nice exchange of letters. 

While we only read the letters Derberth sends, it's a very amusing story as he tells about his crush on a girl who doesn't even like him besides when talking about pets. His younger sister who loves to make him play even when he doesn't want to. His robot best friend - Andi. And his archenemy, the boy with the metal hand and growing mustache who talks to his crush.
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This is a cute little epistolary story about an alien, Dethbert Jones, writing to his new pen pal, an earthling, about his adventures in Space Cadets and his normal everyday life. As a former girl scout, current girl scout volunteer, and sister to a boy scout, I have a lot of appreciation for scouting groups in general, so I really liked seeing a new take on scouts from a different planet. Through Dethbert's letters, we learn a little bit about the planet he lives on: how the animals on his planet have evolved and have complex feelings, how new animal hybrids are being created (like a chicken snail), and how the water supply is toxic and not safe to swim in. This book was filled with puns and not so subtle plays on earth traditions and games which I definitely think would go over very well with the target demographic. All in all, I think late elementary schoolers and early middle schoolers would love this book, especially with all the fun illustrations!
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Book Review
Title: Dear Earthling: Cosmic Correspondent 
Author: Pen Avey
Genre: MG/Sci-Fi
Rating: ****
Review: All I knew about Dear Earthling beforehand is it is about an alien boy writing to a boy on Earth about many different things but there might be more to it than that. We are introduced to Dethbert Jones who lives on the planet Crank, who has joined the Space Cadets which is like Scouts and in order to earn his Cosmic Correspondent badge he needs to find a pen pal from another planet. I was a little disappointed to see that there are no characters from Earth but rather the book is Dethbert’s replies to the Earthling’s letters, but we don’t get to see those. I supposed it is designed for you to insert yourself into the Earthling’s place. We also learn about how Dethbert’s planet Crank is very similar to Earth although they are more advanced, this is clear since Dethbert’s best friend is a Robert called Andi Social. 
Through Dethbert’s communications with the Earthling they teach each other about everything from food, to school lessons, to sports and games, and even public holidays like Christmas. While the letters are interesting, I really think two characters interacting might have been better but apart from that Dethbert is just like any other ten-year-old boy he hates school, love video games and sports. However, Dethbert does deal with some more adult issues like girls, responsibility and bullying, making this novel realistic despite its intergalactic setting. 
As we learn more and more about like on Crank and Dethbert’s life in particular, I did find myself laughing at his antics as it reminded me of my own family growing up. It was interesting to see that the Earthling sent Dethbert a book about wizards at a wizard school which I am almost sure is Harry Potter even if it isn’t named so a book mentioned within a book. When Dethbert and Andi go to Space Camp it was really interesting especially after their crash their shuttle and meet a many-clawed beastie called Albert who agrees to help them get back. This was interesting as many-clawed beasties are believed to be monstrous creatures that eat you when actually they are very nice.
In the end I really enjoy Dethbert’s adventures and that he got a happy ending after all that he went through. However, while I did enjoy this, I don’t think I will continue with the series as I enjoyed this instalment as a standalone entry.
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Dear Earthling was an adorable middle-grade sci-fi story with fun illustrations. It’s about a kid who is a Space Cadet, which is basically a Boy’s Scout in space. The chapters are all fairly short, as they are letters the main character writes to his human penpal.

The planet where Dethbert lives, Crank, is sort of like Earth in a parallel universe. Most of their things have names that are horrible puns on Earth names, like “bored games”, “Duesday”, “When?sday” and so forth. I admit that the puns got a little too much for me eventually and I groaned at many of them, but I’m sure kids would appreciate them more.

Dethbert is a good who gets into trouble and fights with his friends sometimes, but he also has a big heart, and many eccentric friends and family members. Overall, I found this a really endearing sci-fi story that is perfect for preteens.

One thing that made me pause was the mention of one kid’s parent being a missionary who was nearly eaten by “cannibalistic savages” that he tried to convert. That story has pretty negative connotations, and I feel like it was really unnecessary to include it, since it’s not even a big plot point or anything.
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Dear Earthling is a quirky little epistolary story for young middle grade readers.  We follow the story through letters written from Dethbert Jones, an alien who has set up a penpal relationship with a kid on Earth.  Dethbert relates his day-to-day life on a planet that is eerily similar (but not quite the same) as Earth.

For me this was a little too pun-heavy, but I think a lot of new readers would really enjoy the play on words and utter silliness of the story. I would recommend this to some young readers I know.

Thank you to NetGalley and and Common Deer Press for providing me with a DRC of this book.
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Dethbert Jones is an average ten year old.  He just happens to be an alien.  He's excited about having an earthling pen pal and they both learn a lot about each other by reading their letters.

Common Deer Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 3rd.

The planet is named Crank.  He has a pet chicken snail and a best friend named Andi Social.  Puns are alive and well in this story.  Dethbert has a crush on his neighbor girl who wishes he would go away.  And he tells his pen pal all about it.

The pen pal writes back with information about his life, earth customs, what they eat and more.  The alien and the earthling could not be more different but they have fun corresponding anyway.

Dethbert goes to Space Camp and almost doesn't make it back.  He almost gets his crush to be his girlfriend.  His life isn't boring...

This was great fun to read because the names of things are either a play on words or total nonsense.  When Dethbert gets lost in space (not his fault), his earthling friend tries to get NASA to help him to no avail.  How could this not be fun to read?
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I originally requested this, thinking it was a comic style graphic novel. It turns out it was actually a middle grade novel/chapter book, with some illustrations. But I was not disappointed!    Overall, my review is:  Cute!!!  The art was adorable and the puns had me giggling all the way through. This is a collection of letters written between two “alien” penpals, though we only ever see letters from Dethbert.  This was a really fun coming-of-age story that covered all topics related to growing up but also teaches the important lesson that two very different “people” can have a lot in common!
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Witty, funny, and hilariously written, this book makes use of science fiction tropes in an entertaining epistolary format.  It's unlike most of what I've read in this genre, and I recommend Dear Earthling for anyone looking for a delightful take on sci-fi and comedy.

I'm really glad I read this book and look forward to reading more by this author.
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I very much wanted to like this book 100%, the idea of an alien species relishing the art of snail mail and intergalactic correspondence is darling. 

The book tries very hard and big kudos for that but a lot of it just fell a little flat. I understand it's illustrating how things are both the same and different between different kinds of peoples but maybe a little more description on some items or changing up the days of the week by more than one or two letters would have made it all feel more thought out. 

I'd recommend more accompanying illustrations as well, the letter format is descriptive but may feel a bit long for younger readers without some extra "alien" imagery to bolster the experience .
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A very funny, lighthearted story with tons of hilarious puns. I loved the parallels between Earth and Space, the book was filled with creative ideas. Though I think that the people inhabiting Crank look absolutely ridiculous. :D But I get that was kind of the point, too. I loved the silly ideas like some of the species, it's definitely a book I'd give to my future children to read, too bad it will probably never be translated into my native language.
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Dear Earthling:Cosmic Correspondent (Published by Common Deer Press Inc. 2018)

In his quest to achieve the Cosmic Correspondent Badge at Space Cadets, 10 year old Dethbert Jones (from the planet Crank) is thrilled when an alien from the blue planet (Earth) becomes his pen pal.
An imaginative exchange of intergalactic correspondence (via a universal postal system) allows the pals to share experiences and adventures.  Emotions associated with children on the threshold of adolescence are superbly exhibited and often expressed with humour. 
Dethbert’s last communication was sent following his eventful trip to Space Camp (and subsequent taste of celebrity), just as the summer holidays were looming.  Will their cosmic correspondence continue?  I do hope so, and look forward to it arriving soon!
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A cute, funny story about an alien finding a penpal on Earth, and discovering all the ways they're the same. It's a funny story and I like the illustrations and jokes. This will be a good seller, if only for the chicksnail-hedge-podges!


Receiving an ARC did not affect my review in any way.
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An out of this solar system of an adventure? Check. One hysterical side kick who’s basically a Swiss Army knife with phobias and insecurities? Check. A main character who tells the story with a perfectly delivered deadpan humor? Check. Quirky, clever world building? Check.

HELLO EARTHLING is a delight from start to finish. I loved it. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy a light-hearted, feel-good romp through space camp.
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This is a book about a 10 year old Crankian boy named Dethbert Jones. He has just joined the Space Cadets on his home planet, Crank, which is very similar to our Boy Scouts. The story follows Dethbert as he writes to an Earthling in order to earn the Cosmic Correspondance badge. It is told through letters that Dethbert is sending to his pen pal. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a very quick and humorous read. I thought the little drawings in it were a very nice addition. I would recommend this to other readers looking for a light, fun read!

4/5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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