Stuck on Earth

Stuck on Earth

by David Klass

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Ketchvar III's mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvar—who, to human eyes, looks just like a common snail—crawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimen—fourteen years old, good health, above average intelligence. But it soon becomes apparent that Tom Filber may be a little too average—gawky, awkward, and utterly abhorred by his peers. An alien within an alien's skin, Ketchvar quickly finds himself wrapped up in the daily drama of teenage life—infuriating family members, raging bullies, and undeniably beautiful next-door neighbors. And the more entangled Ketchvar becomes, the harder it is to answer the question he was sent to Earth to resolve: Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good? Or is it possible that Homo sapiens really are worth saving?

Wickedly wry and hysterically skewed, David Klass's take on teen life on our fabulously flawed Planet Earth is an engrossing look at true friends, truer enemies, and awkward alien first kisses.

Stuck on Earth is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374399511
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 03/16/2010
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 227
Sales rank: 545,646
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
Age Range: 11 - 14 Years

About the Author

David Klass has written several novels for teens, including the books in the Caretaker Trilogy, the first of which, Firestorm, was declared "tremendous fun to read" by The New York Times Book Review, and the second of which, Whirlwind, was proclaimed by The Miami Herald as "Truly intelligent storytelling for teens." He is also the author of You Don't Know Me, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Dark Angel, an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults, as well as several screenplays. He lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt


We are skimming over the New Jersey countryside in full search mode, hunting a fourteen-year-old. Our shields are up, and no humans can possibly spot us, even with the aid of their primitive “radar” and “sonar” technologies.

Earth’s lone moon is in the sky above us. This is indeed a pretty planet. I can see why the Lugonians, whose sun is about to supernova, covet it. Beneath us are dwelling places known as “houses” separated by expanses of unused space termed “lawns” that convey status on property owners by showing how much land they can afford to waste.

A target subject has just been identified! The circumstances are favorable for an extraction—he is sitting alone eating a “snack”—an unnecessary meal that is known to be unhealthy and is consumed at odd hours. It falls under the category of addictive behavior that most Homo sapiens find impossible to resist.

Cellular spectroscopy is positive. This specimen is Caucasian, fourteen years old, and in good health. Weak areas appear to be the teeth, where a metallic correction device known as “braces” has been fastened, and the eyes, where ocular aids called “glasses” have been appended with the help of two plastic rods hooked around the ears.

Brain scans show an above average human intelligence quotient, with particularly high cognitive and imaginative ability. A probe of long-term memory reveals that the specimen is named Tom Filber, he lives with his parents in a small house on Beech Avenue, and he has a sister named Sally with whom he is in a constant state of conflict that sometimes escalates into violence.

All systems are go! The Preceptor Supervisor has just approved the extraction. I, Ketchvar III, prepare myself to inhabit the body and mind of an infinitely lower life-form. I remind myself that my mission is vitally necessary—we must decide soon if the human species should be preserved or wiped out. We drop low in our ship till we are hovering above the chimney of 330 Beech Avenue.

We have just established direct visual surveillance of the specimen. He is sitting on his front porch, devouring large flakes of dehydrated potato, drained of all nutritional value and flavored with artificial taste stimulants. Every now and then he apparently finds a flake not to his liking, spits it to the floor, and crushes it under the heel of his boot.

Our Mission Engineer readies the paralysis ray. We all turn toward our Preceptor Supervisor, who gives the go-ahead.

The ray is turned on. Specimen Filber freezes in midchew. Sensors show a wild spike in his adrenaline and a rapid acceleration of his heartbeat—he knows something is happening to him, but he cannot make a sound or move a muscle.

Antigravity suction commences immediately. He is lifted off the porch and drawn into the cargo bay of our spaceship. The specimen still cannot move or speak, but he stares back at us through his ocular aids with big, brown, frightened human eyes.

Excerpted from Stuck On Earth by .

Copyright © 2010 by David Klass.

Published in 2010 by Frances Foster Books.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Stuck on Earth 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has a back that makes it look like so interresting
booksrgr8_teen258 More than 1 year ago
This book is so amazingly funny I stayed up all night reading it. Ketchvar the 3rd is an alien that is on a mission: Should the homo sapiens (humans)be annihalated? Ketchvar III goes into a regular 14 year olds body to firgure out the answer. As a new "earthling" Ketchvar first challenge as a human is to avaoid his dsastorous mother. He has to hide from her wicked broom. His very witty comments which include "Why she would she fix a wagon because i left chips out escapes me. I also don't know why a piper needs to be paid" (straight from the book) Ketchvar challenges also include bullies who calls him "alien", a sister, and an aliens first kiss. Because of an old man who died, Ketchvar and the girl next door get into some pretty sticky situations. Will they save the earth? Or will Ketchvar be stuck with no sugar doughnut and no way out of Tom? David Klass brings so much to the table including some very true statements. "Why do us humans who ourselves have a short lifetime waste out life watching other people's supposedly "real" life?" Enjoy life while you can and don't waste your life doing something stupid
JRlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An alien, Ketchvar III, is charged by the Galatic Federation, with the task of inhabiting the brain of a 14 year old Tom Filber in order to determine the fate of the entire human species on behalf of the Lugonians, a race needing a planet because their sun is going supernova shortly. Ketchvar must determine whether it would be acceptable to take over Earth and kill all the humans, who currently are not well regarded among the Federation. They beam the boy aboard the spacecraft, and Ketchvar tries to prepare Tom for what is about to happen. "It won't hurt," I promise him."It will all be over in a second.""What won't hurt? What are you going to do?""Nothing terrible, so try to stay calm," I assure him climbing up his leg. "I'm just going to slither through your nostril, crawl into your cranium, and take possession of your brain."Initially, I thought this was a great book for those looking for humor, because it starts off with some very funny scenes, but it quickly becomes more serious since Tom lives in a dysfunctional family, with a father who is out of work, and who drinks to drown his sorrows, a bitter mom and a mean sister. Tom has a crush on the girl who lives next door, Michelle Peabody, but she isn't really interested in him initially. Tom is a target for bullies and Michelle really thinks he needs to stick up for himself. Ketchvar quickly comes to the conclusion that humans are cruel and miserable. Thankfully, he later encounters some humans who change his opinion. Stuck on Earth takes a thought provoking look at humanity. It also contains an important environmental message. Since it's a pretty fast read, it would be appreciated by an average male reader, who is intelligent enough to appreciate the humor and sensitive enough to empathize with Tom's situation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A snail named Ketchvar the 3rd is on a mission to examine planet earth to check if the humans are good or bad, If they are bad they will be destroyed. Ketchvar crawls into the brain of a fourteen year old boy named Tom Filber.Tom filber is very intelligent , But then Ketchvar gets caught in the life of a fourteen year old boy having to deal with school bullies and next door neighbors,While dealing with the question that gets stuck in his head.If he should let the Scandinavians use the the giant ray to erase mankind or leave it alone?This book is interesting and has some foul language.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book as part of my required summer reading at fist it looked odd and i wouldent like it a whole lot but with its short chapters and simple words that a normal 8th grader wouldent know i loved this book alot more then i thought i HIGHLY recommed this book for ages 12 and up for it has a high swear content
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DKRoberts More than 1 year ago
Interesting alien adventure. I stumbled upon it in the library and picked it up not expecting to actually read and enjoy it. It was an interesting story aimed at young readers. It had me chuckling in places. Would recommend as a short, quick read.
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They have the book at school and it looks like a really good book and then i look at the comment and im confused so im going to get a sample and see for myself.
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Communism More than 1 year ago
It started out well...made me laugh a few times, but then it started getting into all this go green junk which just ruined it for me. Forgettable.