for Summer on Earth by Peter Thompson
SUMMER ON EARTH
The night that eleven-year-old Grady Johnson looked out his window and wished upon a shooting star, his life changed forever...
Grady, his Ma, and younger sister Luanne are having a hard summer. Dad has died and the family isn't the same. Though Ma is trying her best, Grady knows they don't have enough money to get by.
The shooting star he saw was a spacecraft plunging to Earth. Landing in secret at the back of Grady's farm, extraterrestrial engineer Ralwil Turth has one goal-to fix his power drive and go back home. But things don't go as planned...
Stuck in human form, he gets to know Grady and his family, as he works on their farm. He begins to learn about what it means to be human, and discovers the exotic charms of this planet (like the taste of potatoes and how amazing bugs are). As Ralwil grows to care for Grady and his family, he comes up with a plan to help them, sure it will solve all their problems. Gut when trouble comes, the family's survival and Ralwil's very life are on the line.
Can Grady find the courage to help his family and save his friend?
"SUMMER ON EARTH is a fine way to start a middle-grader on science fiction. Taking place in 1978, there's a farm family, an alien, some actual science and some pseudoscience and a great deal of humor. Plus at its core it's a sweet tale of first contact that is also about the welcome given a stranger, his integration in the family-that has the ring of truth in it, especially needed in the tough times."-Jane Yolen, Nebula Award-Winning Author of Lost Girls.