For the number of times I have recommended Spaceheadz to kids and parents, it's embarrassing that I haven't reviewed this book yet!
Michael K. is the one of the new kids in his 5th Grade class. His teacher sits him next to two kids who also happen to be new to the class - but this is where the similarities end. In fact, they are not of the same species! These two kids, Bob and Jennifer, are aliens who have learned how to speak English from watching television, and are especially prone to sudden outbursts like "Ready to Rumble!" and "Just do it!" They have been sent to Earth to recruit kids to help save the planet.
Spaceheadz sits on the same shelf as my 8 year old's Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. There are fun illustrations throughout the book, which make this a quick read for reluctant readers. And for kids who might watch a little too much TV themselves, the ad slogans shouted out by the aliens give them a funny way to connect to the book.
Once your child has read the book and heard the call to be one of the kids needed to swear "to protect and serve and look up" - a SPHDZ - they can go online, sign up, and make it official. (See below for a list of web addresses)
In short, this book was a quick, fun read with enough kooky language and silly illustrations that will make any kid laugh out loud! The multi-platform approach will keep kids interested and excited about this series between installments.
I feel I must add that after seeing the creative genius that is Jon Scieszka, I will be on a constant lookout for his other titles whenever The 8 Year Old asks me for a new book! Jon Scieszka gets it.
Synopsis (from Simon & Schuster)
The perfect combination of the age old experience of holding and pouring over a physical book with newest media technology that kids love!
Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn't hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren't kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,140,001 kids to BE SPHDZ. But with a hamster as their leader, "kids" who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment?
■ At http://www.sphdz.com/, you can sign up to be a SPHDZ and help stop the Earth from being turned off.
■ At http://www.antialienagency.com/, you can see what the government is doing to protect the Earth from the alien menace.
■ At http://www.mrshalleyscomets.com/, you can see Michael K.'s fifth-grade class website.
About the Book:
SPHDZ Book #1 by Jon Scieszka
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, June 2010
Hardcover, 176 pages
Grades: 2 - 5
**SPHDZ Book #2 is coming out December 2010!
About the Author:
Jon Scieszka is the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, named by the Library of Congress. He is the author of some of the best known and funniest books written for children including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Time Warp Trio series and the Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales. He is the creator of the Trucktown series, of which Smash!Crash! was an NY Times bestseller for many weeks. Jon is a former elementary school teacher, and a avid promoter of literacy—particularly for boys. His website http://www.guyssread.com/ focuses on his national campaign. Jon lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY.
*Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher, with special thanks to Big Honcho Media.