Spaceheadz, Book #1!
Spaceheadz, Book #1!

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Series: Spaceheadz Vol. 1   

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Annotation: On his first day at Brooklyn's P.S. 858, fifth-grader Michael K. is teamed with two very strange students, and while he gradually comes to believe they are aliens who need his help, he has trouble convincing anyone else of the truth.
Catalog Number: #44797
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition Date: 2011
Illustrator: Prigmore, Shane,
Pages: 163 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-442-41986-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-44079-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-442-41986-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-44079-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010001983
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
While ostensibly about a new kid at a new school, this gag- and cartoon-packed book is really a call to arms for an online youth movement. Michael K. gets stuck sitting next to the two other new kids in his class, who everyone assumes must be foreign. Which isn't far from the truth; they're from another planet, where they feed on our wayward TV and radio broadcast waves. They glom on to Michael because he once claimed in a cereal commercial, "I can do anything," leading the two interstellar travellers (along with their commander, a hamster) to figure he can save the earth and its precious waves from, well, that's not quite clear yet. But they do know they need to convert millions of kids into Spaceheadz (aka SPHDZ), or there will be disaster aplenty. At least four different Web sites are already in place to bring kids into the SPHDZ ranks, with more promised for further books in the series. It's a wily first course, and certainly fun enough to become the next big word-of-mouth, multiplatform attention suck.
Horn Book
With Francesco Sedita. Michael K. tries to stay away from the other new-kid fifth graders Bob and Jennifer--especially after they reveal they're aliens who "need to get three point one four million and one Earth persons to become SPHDZ" or Earth will be "turned off." The zany illustrations and kinetic design strive a little too much for quirkiness; nonetheless this series-starter is a comical, high-energy read.
Kirkus Reviews
P.S.. 858 fifth grader Michael K. had hoped for a normal first day in his new school, but what he gets is crazy-weird. He's paired with two other new students, Bob (who talks like a commercial) and Jennifer (who sounds like a wrestling announcer), who seem to know him and who think he can do anything. They and their loquacious hamster, Major Fluffy, even say that they are aliens sent to Earth to recruit SPHDZ. They are sure Michael K can help them recruit 3.14 million kids—if not, the Earth will be turned off! While Michael K. is trying to figure out how to escape or at least mitigate the total weirdstorm, Agent Umber of the Anti-Alien Agency is hot on the trail. With this series kick-off, Scieszka and Sedita have just written the book (literally) on how to integrate new media into a "traditional" book for children. The story's websites are all functional (not to mention funny) and extend the narrative. Prigmore's black-and-white illustrations are a perfect match; in fact, artwork and text have rarely worked so well together in this format. Hysterical, sneakily instructive fun. You will be SPHDZ! (Multi-platform science fiction. 7-12)
Publishers Weekly
Michael K. (nudge nudge, young Kafka fans) is hoping for a smooth transition as he starts fifth grade at a new school in Brooklyn. But things go downhill when two weirdoes named Jennifer and Bob glom onto him, revealing that they're aliens from the planet Spaceheadz; their leader is the class hamster; and they believe Michael K. can lead 3.14 million Earth kids in a movement to save the planet from being ""turned off."" Additionally, they must deal with a haplessly persistent agent with the Anti Alien Agency (motto: ""To Protect, and to Serve, and to Always Look Up""). To get the full experience, readers can log on to a number of Web sites woven into the story:, for example, is a funny spoof of a government site. But while Michael K. makes an appealing fish out of water, the story, parceled out in bite-size chapters, feels both padded and flat. And the central running joke%E2%80%94that Bob and Jennifer talk like TV commercials%E2%80%94comes across as recycled material from a Saturday Night Live Coneheads skit. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7%E2%80%9310. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 3&11;5&12; Michael's first day in fifth grade is not going well. A new school is bad enough, but the teacher has partnered him with two extremely weird kids. Bob and Jennifer tell Michael that they are Spaceheadz from another planet and that they need his help to save the world. They explain that Earth is in danger of being turned off, depriving the interstellar civilizations of our tasty TV and radio waves. Led by Major Fluffy, the class hamster and mission commander, they must recruit 3.14 million (+1) Earthling brainwaves to join in one giant SPHDZ wave to keep the planet online. However, Agent Umber of the secretive Anti-Alien Agency is on their trail. Umber, the most inept spy since Maxwell Smart, hopes that Michael can lead him to the ETs. Michael wants to save the Earth&12;but does that mean helping the Spaceheadz or turning them in? As in Scieskza's "Time Warp Trio" series (Viking), comically twisted contemporary cultural references abound. The young aliens speak primarily in TV advertising slogans, which fit remarkably&12;and hilariously&12;into the dialogue. Real commercial products, from George Foreman grills to Charmin&82; toilet tissue, are put to exotic extraterrestrial uses. The intriguing book design includes chapter headings in English and SPHDZ characters, occasional white-on-black pages, and SPHDZ "stickers" scattered throughout the text. The black-and-white cartoon illustrations are often integrated into the text layout, giving the book a graphic-novel feel. Four creative, well-designed websites contribute important information to the story. Science-fiction fans with a taste for off-the-wall humor will be eager to join the SPHDZ movement.&12; Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Word Count: 13,863
Reading Level: 4.2
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.2 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 138143 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.3 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q48696
Lexile: 580L

Michael K. knew his first day in a new school in a new city was going to be weird. How could a first day at someplace in Brooklyn, New York, called P.S. 858 not be weird?

He just had no idea it could be this weird.

Michael K. had been in fifth grade for only twenty minutes, and already

  • Mrs. Halley had stuck him in the slow group with the two strange new kids,

  • the new girl had eaten half of his only pencil, and

  • the new boy had just told Michael K. that they were Spaceheadz from another planet.

  • “Uh, yeah,” said Michael K. “I just moved here too.”

    The girl flexed an arm. “SMACKDOWN,” she said in a voice like a wrestling announcer.

    “Very nice.” Michael K. nodded.

    Sure, he was a new kid too. But these other new kids were seriously creeping him out. He did not want to get stuck with these losers on the first day of school. It could ruin his whole life.

    The boy nodded back. “JUST DO IT.

    The girl drew on her Star Wars lunch box:

    This was getting beyond weird.

    “Michael K., I’M LOVING IT!” said the boy. “We need your help. You must become a . Save your world. I am Bob.”

    “Jennifer,” said the girl in that deep, echoing voice.

    Michael K. watched Jennifer crunch the last of his Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2.

    How did this new kid Bob know his name? Michael K. hadn’t said it. What did he mean, “save your world”? Were they just messing with him? Yeah, that was it. They were just goofing around.

    Michael K. decided he would goof right back . . . then move his seat as far away from them as possible.

    “I get it,” said Michael K. “You are Spaceheadz from another planet. On a mission to Earth. Here to take over the world. Take me to your leader. Bzzt, bzzzt.”

    “See! I told you, Jennifer!” said Bob. “Michael K. can do anything! He is like a rock. MMM, MMM GOOD.”

    Jennifer burped up the eraser from Michael K.’s only pencil. She spit it out.

    “—GET RRRREADY TO RRRRRUMBLE,” said Jennifer.

    “Eeek eek,” said the class hamster.

    Room 501-B went silent except for the sound of Mrs. Halley writing on the chalkboard.

    The thought occurred to Michael K. that Bob and Jennifer were not joking.

    The thought occurred to Michael K. that they really were Spaceheadz from another planet.

    The thought exploded in Michael K.’s head that those thoughts were ridiculous.

    Aliens don’t invade fifth-grade classrooms. They don’t look like fifth graders. And they don’t talk like commercials and pro wrestlers.

    Bob and Jennifer were probably just from somewhere else. And kind of confused.



    © 2010 Jon Scieszka

    Excerpted from SPHDZ Book #1! by Jon Scieszka
    All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

    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?

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