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“Playing soccer or tennis or being in the science club or ballet doesn’t make you interesting. And boring people don’t chase robot boys who shoot lasers from their hands,” Gina. –The Boy Who Crashed To Earth
The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
by Judd Winick
AR Test, Diverse Characters, Graphic Novel
BOOM! CLANG! CRASH! D.J. and Gina are totally ordinary kids. But Hilo isn’t! Hilo just fell out of the sky and doesn’t know where he came from, what he’s doing on Earth, or why going to school in only your underwear is a BAD idea! But Hilo is excited to have a friend, D.J. Even when Hilo tries to blend in with the rest of the kids at D.J.’s school, he just doesn’t understand earth’s customs.
Soon the three discover that Hilo wasn’t the only thing to fall to earth. Can the trio unlock the secrets of Hilo’s past? Can Hilo SURVIVE a day at school? Find out in Hilo – a laugh-out-loud, epic story of friendship, adventure, and occasionally a mutant space robot.
Readers of all ages will fall in love with the main characters D.J. and Hilo. Readers will relate to D.J. who worries that he is boring and eagerly helps Hilo. The relationship between the two is fun and endearing. Hilo says he is lucky to have D.J. because when “a boy fell from the sky, and all you wanted to do is protect him. You saved him by throwing a robot off a cliff, leaping down a pitch-black hole, fighting a giant metal bug with a stick. And a whole lot more!” In order to help Hilo, D.J. helps Hilo battle robots. In the battle scenes, the characters spend more time running away than fighting and none of the characters are seriously injured.
Without sounding like a school lesson, The Boy Who Crashed to Earth introduces new vocabulary through Hilo’s speech. For example, Hilo says, “Crazy. AD.J.ective. Informal. ‘He was acting like a crazy person.’ Mad, insane, out of one’s mind. Deranged.” One negative aspect of the story is the juvenile humor. For example, Hilo likes to talk about his silver underwear and he loves to burp. Despite the juvenile humor, Hilo portrays D.J.’s family in a positive light and shows the importance of helping others.
Brightly colored illustrations will capture readers’ attention, but readers will want to keep turning the pages because of the engaging story and the likable characters. The detailed illustrations show exaggerated facial expressions which will help readers understand the characters’ changing emotions.
The Boy Who Crashed to Earth introduces complex characters that readers will love. The reader only sees snippets of Hilo’s past, which creates both suspense and mystery. The action-packed story will keep readers flipping the pages until the very end. Readers will be eager to read the next book in the series, Saving the Whole Wide World.
- A giant robot chases Hilo and D.J. When D.J. falls, Hilo shoots the robot with lasers. The scene is illustrated over six pages.
- In order to distract the school secretary, Hilo sets a wild raccoon loose in the school office.
- “A cybernetic formicidae! A robot ant!” chases D.J. and Hilo. All three of them fall over a cliff, and when D.J. is in danger of being hurt, Hilo shoots the robot with lasers. The robot is disabled but eventually comes back. The robot and Hilo fall over another cliff. The robot is destroyed and Hilo falls apart. The action is illustrated over twelve pages.
- A giant robot centipede grabs Hilo and takes him underground. D.J and Gina go in after Hilo. When the centipede opens its mouth, Hilo shoots a laser inside of the creature. The creature is disabled. The scene is illustrated over three pages.
- Giant robot insects are building a robot, and Hilo tries to stop the creatures by zapping them with lasers. The robot comes to life and begins shooting lasers while the robot bugs chase the kids. During the battle, the robot is able to capture Hilo. In the end, Hilo opens a portal and sends the robot through. The epic battle is illustrated over 28 pages.
Drugs and Alcohol
- “Holy Mackerel” is used as an expression occasionally.
- A classmate tells D.J., “Dude. Your pal is a real freak.”