Eight Days on Planet Earth
Eight Days on Planet Earth
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Annotation: On the hot summer day Matty Jones's dad leaves for good, a strange girl suddenly appears in the empty field next to the farm, the very field in rural Pennsylvania where a spaceship supposedly landed fifty years ago.
Catalog Number: #149302
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 307 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-257173-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-257173-1
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Matty meets a "crazy, crazy girl" in the rural-Pennsylvania field where a spaceship purportedly landed in 1965. Priya is from a planet near Gliese 581c, she tells him, and she's waiting to go home. Matty's first-person narrative rings true, and though Priya's real story will likely leave readers in tears, they will be glad to have shared "eight days on planet Earth" with Matty and Priya.
Kirkus Reviews
A white teenage boy must decide if the strange girl he's falling for is an extraterrestrial in this sophomore effort by the author of The Leaving Season (2016). Matty Jones' life is upended when his alien-obsessed father suddenly abandons the family. His grief is tempered by the discovery of a brown-skinned, white-haired girl named Priya in the field behind his rural Pennsylvania home. The ground is rumored to be the site of a past UFO crash, and Priya claims she is an alien who will soon be catching a ride back to her planet. Matty is doubtful, but that doesn't stop him from introducing Priya to all the wonders of Earth, including roller coasters, swimming, and, of course, sex. But he worries about Priya's severe headaches, which she chalks up to gravity sickness. It takes some time (readers who know that Priya is a fairly common Indian name will be way ahead of him), but finally Matty is forced to confront the truth about both Priya's situation and his feelings about his father. While Jordan's predictable, Starman-esque story is executed in boilerplate prose ("Take your bullshit frustrations out on some other chump. Not me" and "That is not the tone to take with me this morning" are typical exchanges) the tragic, touching ending is memorable. Secondary characters Brian and Emily Aoki are Japanese-American siblings. Shoots for the stars; doesn't quite make it. (Fiction. 12-15)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 UpAn immediately engaging story with a massive plot twist. Seventeen-year-old Matty is facing an aimless summer in his small town when his slacker dad, DJ, finally leaves for good. Living next to a field where a spaceship purportedly crashed, Matty and his dad had bonded over a love of space. But as DJ becomes addicted to his fringe theory followers, the whole family grows apart. Matty tells himself he and his mom are better off without him. Then a frail white-haired girl appears in the mysterious field to whom Matty and his dog are irresistibly drawn. Priya claims she is on Earth to collect data and is heading back to her home planet soon. She embodies everything Matty and his father once wanted to believe about the possibilities of space. Priya is delightfully odd and perceptive, and she helps Matty see the small wonders of his life. But Matty doesn't know if he is waiting on a spaceship, heartbreak, or both. This compelling page-turner will have readers happily suspending disbelief. Matty and Priya give each other much in terms of belief and faith, leaving readers to constantly wonder if their relationship is coincidence or cosmic destiny. Matty is an excellent and engaging narrator and all supporting characters play true parts. VERDICT A wonderfully readable, ultimately hopeful, and life-affirming story that will be enjoyed by fans of Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also a Star and Gae Polisner's The Memory of Things.Lee De Groft, Jamestown High School, Williamsburg, VA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (4/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (10/1/17)
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12

A heart-wrenching romance full of twists that are sure to bring tears to readers’ eyes, from Cat Jordan, author of The Leaving Season.

How long does it take to travel twenty light years to Earth?

How long does it take to fall in love?

To the universe, eight days is a mere blip, but to Matty Jones, it may be just enough time to change his life.

On the hot summer day Matty’s dad leaves for good, a strange girl suddenly appears in the empty field next to the Jones farm—the very field in rural Pennsylvania where a spaceship supposedly landed fifty years ago. She is uniquely beautiful, sweet, and smart, and she tells Matty she’s waiting for her spaceship to pick her up and return her to her home planet. Of course she is.

Matty has heard a million impossible UFO stories for each of his seventeen years: the conspiracy theories, the wild rumors, the crazy belief in life beyond the stars. When he was a kid, he and his dad searched the skies and studied the constellations. But all of that is behind him. Dad’s gone—but now there’s Priya. She must be crazy…right?

As Matty unravels the mystery of the girl in the field, he realizes there is far more to her than he first imagined. And if he can learn to believe in what he can’t see: the universe, aliens…love…then maybe the impossible is possible, after all.

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