Jillian vs Parasite Planet
by Nicole Kornher-Stace
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 13 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 26 Jul 2021
“Fantastic worldbuilding, a hero you can’t help but root for, and the best sidekick this side of the galaxy.”
—Katie Slivensky, author of The Countdown Conspiracy
Cover and Interior Illustrations by Scott Brown
Can an anxious eleven-year-old find her chill and save her family from creepy aliens? Only if she’s the most awesome, super-brave astronaut since Spaceman Spiff! So take a deep breath, grab your sidekick, and blast off with Jillian to Parasite Planet.
Eleven-year-old Jillian hates surprises. Even fun ones make her feel all panicky inside. But, she’s always dreamed of joining her space-explorer parents on a mission. It’s Take Your Kid to Work Day, and Jillian finally has her chance to visit an alien world!
The journey to Planet 80 UMa c is supposed to be just a fun camping trip. But then the local wildlife starts acting really dangerous. Only the onboard computer SABRINA sorta knows what’s happening—at least when it’s not goofing off or telling bad jokes.
Looks like it’s Jillian vs Parasite Planet—and Jillian is determined to win!
A Note From the Publisher
Book Riot Best Middle Grade Science Fiction Books
“Action, science, and creepy crawly creatures. This is everything I ever wanted in an all-ages space adventure.”
—Landry Walker, author of Star Wars Adventures
“A fast-paced story of survival—in the face of alien worms and your own anxieties—with a hero kids will relate to and a robot sidekick they’ll wish they could take to school!”
—Gareth Wronski, author of Holly Farb and the Princess of the Galaxy
“Look out Heinlein, here comes Nicole Kornher-Stace! In her middle grade novel, Jillian vs Parasite Planet, she not only does a Heinlein space explorer, but her young female hero, with hands full of science and parasites, manages to grow up as well. Huzzah! Great space fun with a lot of ick thrown in as well.”
—Jane Yolen, author of The Midnight Circus
“The Martian for kids—a fun yet surprisingly gritty story of resourcefulness and survival in the wilds of outer space.”
—Sophia McDougall, author of Mars Evacuees
“I like a book that keeps the reader posted on what everybody has to eat. Also, I like a book with worms, (in the story, not in the physical book). Not many books have worms. This one does. It’s a romp. It’s a space romp. It’s a romping story in which food is mentioned, and there are worms, and a neat kid who’s realer than some kids you meet in books.”
—Daniel Pinkwater, author of The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
“On Take Your Kid to Work Day, Jillian feels like the luckiest kid in the class—because her parents go to space for their jobs. Of course, at 11, she’s too young to go with them, but she’s determined to get as close as she possibly can to “all that sweet, sweet space magic.” Her parents lead her on a tour of the StellaTech facility (state of the art for the year 2113), even introducing her to SABRINA, a “Semi-Autonomous Bio-Reconnoitering Intelligent Nanobot Array,” who’s got wit beyond its programming. Jillian’s eagerness for adventure, hunger for information, and utterly relatable anxiety make her an instant classic middle-grade protagonist. It’s the best surprise of her life when her parents take her through the StellaTech portal to an alien planet—and the worst when they crash-land, green worms dissolve most of their supplies, and her parents barely survive. Until their portal back to Earth opens, Jillian has to keep them all alive. Good thing she’s got SABRINA’s quippy help . . . Problem-solving has never been such a wild ride.”
“Jillian vs Parasite Planet is a thrilling middle-grade sci-fi novel, with a plucky and ingenious hero who never gives up, and an A.I. partner we all wish we could have.”
—Samantha M Clark, author of The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast
“Around every space boulder and puddle, Jillian uses her savvy, deduction skills, and intuition to navigate an unfamiliar, hostile environment. Jillian vs. Parasite Planet is a smart science fiction adventure that celebrates its heroine’s ingenuity and independence, even in circumstances that are out of this world.”
*Review copy mailings to leading newspaper, magazine, and fiction reviewers, and specialty middle grade- and fantasy-oriented outlets
*Digital ARCs available via NetGalley, Edelweiss, and Goodreads; additional print available upon request
*Online promotional rollout to include blog tour, interviews, radio, and podcasts
* Social media push by the author and publisher via Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Goodreads
*Author appearances at bookstores, trade shows, genre-themed conventions, and virtual events TBD
Average rating from 7 members
This book was fantastic. I don’t read much middle grade books but reading Jillian vs parasite has now made me want to seek it out, it’s that good! Jillian is eleven years old and travels to space with her parents and a robot sidekick called SABRINA. There she is greeted by an alien world. The world building is phenomenal, and the story is completely engaging. I particularly loved how Jillian’s childhood anxiety was portrayed, and felt that it was an important inclusion. I highly recommend this fun read, to children and adults alike.
Everyone needs an AI buddy like SABRINA. It is possibly the coolest, snarkiest, most intuitive, super-intelligent and physically flexible robot ever and Jillian has it for a companion throughout this amazing adventure. Jillian’s space-surveyor parents take her on a survey trip to ANOTHER PLANET for Bring Our Kids to Work Day. What should be the most fun, coolest and best camping trip ever turns into a crazy, worm-infested fight for survival. With her parents out of commission, it’s up to Jillian to save them, keep them alive and meet the return rendezvous-vous one week later. This story is action-packed, the characters are great, the alien planet is carefully developed, and Jillian is such a courageous heroine, despite her struggles with anxiety, you just have to root for her the whole time. Her relationship with SABRINA, their teamwork and blossoming friendship, are the absolute highlights of this book for me. Love it, love it, love it!
This is a rocking Middle Grade adventure story set in SPAAAAAACE! Jillian's parents are astronauts, so 'Take Your Kid to Work' day means she gets to travel with them to perform a routine survey on a routine planet. But when they get there, things go disastrously wrong, and Jillian has to survive and keep her parents alive until the rendezvous date with only her wits and a robot companion. It's exciting, science-focused, and a lot of fun!
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this young adult sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . . They claim this book be for ages 8 to 12. I may be (much) older but that didn't stop me from really enjoying this space romp. The story follows eleven-year old Jillian who gets to go with her parents on Take Your Kid to Work Day. But her parents aren't accountants or lawyers. They are space explorers. How cool is that? But when Jillian accompanies her parents on a routine mission everything goes wrong and Jillian must save the day! Good thing that Jillian has SABRINA, an artificial intelligence with a hive mind. I did love the robot and the developing relationship it had with Jillian. But what I loved more was how both characters had limitations that had to be thought through and dealt with. Jillian has anxiety and is . . . well, eleven. SABRINA's strengths and weaknesses are in it's programming. They have to use the skills they have to accomplish the mission. It was lovely to see both their teamwork and their individual growth. I was rooting for Jillian and loved seeing how everything worked out. As an older reader I did have to suspend my disbelief a bit. However, I am positive that the younger readers will adore this excellent story. I continue to be a fan of Kornher-Stace's work and will read whatever she does next. Arrrr! So lastly . . . Thank you Tachyon!
If you are: A parent A grandparent A cool aunt/uncle/etc. A babysitter A teacher/educator A librarian Someone with young siblings An adult with anxiety who's always loved to read and rarely saw themself portrayed accurately in fiction YOU HAVE TO BUY THIS BOOK. Full stop, no question, go get it right now. I have loved to read ever since I was a kid. I vividly remember checking out stacks of 12+ books and assuring the librarian that I would, in fact, read them all. My love of sci-fi started early, too, thanks to my dad, who insisted upon exposing me to things like star wars and so on at a preeeetty early age (to my mom's chagrin). I also have chronic, debilitating anxiety, which I wasn't diagnosed with until I was a teenager but has absolutely lived in my brain for much longer than that. This book, had I had it when I was younger, would have been my favorite thing ever. Heck, I am almost thirty (yikes) and it is STILL one of my favorite things ever, and definitely one of the best books I've read this year. Nicole Kornher-Stace has once again created a story that hits all my buttons (space travel! average MC thrown into a chaotic adventure they have to Do Their Best to get through! Genre-savvy humor! Creepy parasitic infections that [spoiler] don't end up killing everybody!! A sentient array of nanobots!!! I absolutely could go on) and, beyond that, written chronic anxiety in a way I don't think I have EVER seen in fiction (certainly not in kidlit) but that resonates extremely intensely with me. I was (am??) the kid who couldn't shut up. The kid who catastrophized constantly and needed desperately to be understood. Jillian and I present anxiety a little differently, but the feelings are all the same and very there and this representation is so so so so important. This is a riveting, intriguing, wholesome thriller of a book with so very much heart, and I am so happy to have it in my life. I wish I was still in the elementary education field solely for the purpose of recommending this book to every kid and teacher I knew. As it is, I will absolutely be yelling about it to everyone I know with kids in their lives, and every grown-up chronic bookworm I know, too.