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Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth

Written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Illustrated by Steve Lenton

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Humorous Recommended Children's eBooks Science Fiction

LoveReading View on Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth

A tour de force that movingly encompasses such deep topics as dementia, fostering, and selective mutism whilst also being an hilarious encounter with an alien visitor creating havoc while the hero is trying to save the world and coming to terms with his own difficult situation

Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award

With all the invention, originality and insight that is typical of his writing for children, Frank Cottrell Boyce takes the sad story of Laika, the first living creature to orbit Earth, and uses it as inspiration for a story about the importance of home. As ever, it’s both brilliantly funny and extraordinarily moving. Prez is living with a temporary foster family when he opens the door to Sputnik. Prez sees an alien – in a kilt – everyone else sees a dog. Over the course of the summer Prez and Sputnik have some amazing adventures and break a lot of laws, including some of the laws of physics, but in the process they save the world, and reunite Prez with his grandfather. As wild as a cartoon strip, this wonderful story pinpoints all the best things about life on Earth.

 

Andrea Reece

Other Info

No-one writes like Frank Cottrell Boyce, and readers who enjoy this will also love his books Cosmic and The Astounding Broccoli Boy. Jamie Thomson’s Dark Lord books are also very funny, and just as good on human nature as is My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons.  

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth Synopsis

The Blythes are a big, warm, rambunctious family who live on a small farm and sometimes foster children. Now Prez has come to live with them. But, though he seems cheerful and helpful, he never says a word. Then one day Prez answers the door to someone claiming to be his relative. This small, loud stranger carries a backpack, walks with a swagger and goes by the name of Sputnik. As Prez dithers on the doorstep, Sputnik strolls right past him and introduces himself to everyone in the household. Prez is amazed at the response. The family pat Sputnik on the head, call him a good boy and drop food into his mouth. It seems they all think Sputnik is a dog. It's only Prez who thinks otherwise. But Prez soon finds himself having to defend the family from the chaos and danger unleashed by Sputnik, as household items come to life - like a TV remote that fast-forwards people: 'Anyone can do it, it's just that people don't read the instructions properly'; and a toy lightsaber that entertains guests at a children's party, until one of them is nearly decapitated by it - and Prez is going to have to use his voice to explain himself. It turns out that Sputnik is writing a guidebook to Earth called Ten Things Worth Doing on Earth, and he takes Prez on a journey to discover just those ten things. Each adventure seems to take Prez nearer to the heart of the family he is being fostered by. But they also take him closer to the day that he is due to leave them forever ...

There are 4 fun Sputnik Activity Pages to download here!

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.

  • Jack Smith, age 11 - 'Exciting and full of adventure!'
  • Oliver Thorpe, age 10 - 'Credit to Frank Cottrell Boyce for this amazing book.  It is fun, light and exciting.  Once you get into it, there's no putting it down.  Good for anyone who enjoys a funny book.'
  • Isabella Campbell, age 12 - 'Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth is a funny, heart-warming tale of a young boy named Prez finding his voice, helped by his unlikely companion, Sputnik, an extra-terrestrial.'
  • Alex, age 11 - 'I found this book a bit confusing because I couldn't follow the plot of the story and couldn't understand what was going on.'

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth Press Reviews

Light-hearted and profound Sunday Times Book of the Week

Wholly original and exceptionally funny The Bookseller Book of the Month

Praise for The Astounding Broccoli Boy:

“an action-filled romp from an all-star author” The Metro

“No one does this sort of thing better than Frank Cottrell Boyce.” Guardian

“A new novel from Frank Cottrell Boyce is always an excitement and here he melds humour and insight in a perfectly observed, hilarious story.” The Scotsman

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Check Mates

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781529008814
Publication date: 21/02/2019
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781447237570
Publication date: 09/02/2017
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780230771376
Publication date: 07/04/2016
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781447237570
Publication date: 9th February 2017
Author: Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Illustrator: Steve Lenton
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Humorous, Science Fiction
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children
Other Categories: Audio Books, All Shortlists and Winners

About Frank Cottrell-Boyce

A World Book Day Author 2019 Frank Cottrell Boyce is an accomplished, successful and award-winning author and screenwriter. His books have been shortlisted for a multitude of prizes, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Whitbread Children's Fiction Award (now the Costa Book Award) and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and Millions, his debut children's novel, won the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2004. Millions was was later turned into a film by Danny Boyle and it features in the Book Trust’s 100 Best Books List for 9-11 year olds. Frank is also a successful writer of film scripts and was the ...

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