An poignant novel about war and remembrance
If you had one minute to describe life on Earth, what would you say? It's 1977, and Theo and his class are creating a golden record inspired by the one Voyager 2 will carry into space as a greeting from Earth. But as Theo searches for an original answer to his teacher's question, other questions begin to surface: What happened to his father in Vietnam? And why has his mother been keeping secrets all these years?
Two-time Sibert Award Honoree, Barbara Kerley is well-known for her masterful narrative nonfiction picture books, which are consistently hailed for their incisiveness, eloquence, and meticulous research. Greetings from Planet Earth, published in hardcover in 2007, is Kerley's debut novel--a thought-provoking exploration of war (as well as a crippling family secret), and its devastating effect upon a 12-year-old boy whose father never returned from Vietnam. Sadly, the subject matter continues to be timely as the war continues in Iraq and Afghanistan, affecting thousands of American families. The book has an intriguing format with shifting points of view and Kerley's signature lucid, economical prose. It was recently named a finalist for the 2010-2011 California Young Reader Medal.