First Day On Earth by Cecil CastellucciFirst Day On Earth by Cecil Castellucci

First Day On Earth

byCecil Castellucci

Hardcover | November 1, 2011

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A startling, wonderful novel about the true meaning of being an alien in an equally alien world.

We are specks. Pieces of dust in this universe.
Big nothings. I know what I am.

Mal lives on the fringes of high school. Angry. Misunderstood. Quiet, but with a lot of words underneath.

Seven years ago, Mal disappeared for three days. Everyone tells him it was a breakdown, a seizure, something medical. He thinks it was something different. An alien abduction.

But there's no way for him to know for sure.

Then, at an abductee support group, he meets Hooper, who has some otherworldly secrets of his own. And suddenly the truth is closer than Mal ever imagined itcould be.

They are out there and they are watching us.
One day, I'm going with them. And I'm going to be free.

CECIL CASTELLUCCI is a filmmaker, author and former indie rocker! She is an accomplished writer of several young adult novels, including Rose Sees Red, Boy Proof, The Queen of Cool, and Beige, as well as of the graphic novels The Plain Janes and Janes in Love. A former Montrealer, she now makes her home in Los Angeles, California.
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Title:First Day On EarthFormat:HardcoverDimensions:160 pages, 8.57 × 5.71 × 0.66 inPublished:November 1, 2011Publisher:SCHOLASTIC INCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545060826

ISBN - 13:9780545060820

Appropriate for ages: 12

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful & Unforgettable Mal is an outsider. He sits on the outskirts of activity at school. At home he is the care taker of his alcoholic mom. He also believes he was abducted by Aliens, left only with the scattered memories of those experiences. He’s alone in a world he feels he can not escape. “There is a question that I always ask myself. I ask it many times during the day. How far away from here is far away enough? How far away would I be willing to go? My answer is always the same. You? I’d bet you’d think the moon was far away enough. I say the moon is still too close”pg16 First Day On Earth is a short read; but it’s a powerful one. A mere 148 pages, it packs in such strength, and beauty and rawness. I think so many can relate to that feeling of not belonging, and the author captures it perfectly here. I love Cecil Castellucci’s writing style. A book for teens and adults alike, there is much to experience and learn from this amazing novel. For more reviews: www.lostinthelibrary.com
Date published: 2012-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deeply moving To be honest I loved this book so much that it has taken me months to write my review. I wanted to let the book settle and give it a second reading before writing this review. I was concerned that my enthusiasm was so great I would not be objective in my review or just blather on about how great the novel is. I also read it almost 6 months before it came out. I have now waited, gone back and read it again, and still love it. I love everything that Cecil Castelluci has published but there is something more, something deeper in this book. Cecil Castellucci does an amazing job of capturing a male voice. Our narrator is Mal, a guy in high school who went missing for three days when he was younger. He discovers an alien abductees' support group and starts to put pieces of his life together. Mal is an amazing character. I was surprised by his struggles and seeking for self-understanding, while on the journey to understand the world around him. The story captures much of what it means to be on the fringe in high school or life, to be different, to be other and in such a way that that is not a bad thing, if you are being true to yourself. This book was written by an author I discovered only last year. I have since read all her novels. With each book of hers that I read or reread, I am challenged into looking at who I am and who I want to be. This book did that to an even greater extent. This is an amazing read as a story, and if you let it challenge you, it can also be a tool for so much more. Well done yet again Miss Cecil!
Date published: 2012-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci After his father left them years ago, Mal's mother is broken, turning to alcohol each day and leaving Mal to face the world all on his own. At school he's an outsider, never able to fit in with the norm. With very few friends, and teachers who have given up on having him follow the rules, Mal wanders the hallways past the bell signaling the start of class and enters the classrooms whenever he feels he should. Mal feels different from everyone else, as thought he's been touched by something unexplainable, never allowing him to be normal. Mal is convinced that he was abducted by aliens when he was younger and feels a connection he can't possibly explain to others. Ever since the abduction, Mal believes he must return to outer space, as though that is where he truly belongs. When Mal meets Hooper, a homeless man who claims that he's an alien trying to get back to his home on another planet, Mal agrees to help him get there. Not only does Mal want to help Hooper get home, he also wants Hooper to take him along... This is a wonderful short read about a boy who doesn't feel comfortable in his own skin. He believes that there is something out there in space, something he can't explain, and somewhere he truly belongs. Battling himself as well as others who try to convince him otherwise, that this is his home and that there's nothing for him out there. My favorite element of First Day on Earth was Cecil Castellucci's unique writing style of developing her stories in many short chapters. I feel that by having them being so short, as well as having chapters with simply one word or sentence had a greater overall impact. Another element which I enjoyed is how the novel is written from a boy's perspective. The writing in First Day on Earth definitely reflects a boy's point of view, short, direct, and to the point. I sympathized with Mal throughout the entire novel. He is a wonderful character that many can relate to, and his story is truly worth reading. I also appreciated that First Day on Earth is an open-ended novel, meant to encourage readers to come up with their own ending. My personal take on the ending is that Mal must let go of the person he wants to be, and accept the person he is. He shouldn't feel the need to find a place where he belongs, but accept that this is his home, that he isn't like everyone else and love himself in order for others to love him back. Cecil Castellucci is a fantastic story teller who's words share hidden meaning that will touch not only one, but that will touch many in different ways. I recommend First Day on Earth to those who enjoy Young Adult Fiction. Must Read! Highly Recommended!
Date published: 2011-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quick fabulous read for those who have ever felt "alien" The Good Stuff Sensitively and beautifully written Incredibly well drawn and believable characters who develop so well - especially brilliant considering this is such a short quick read Cecil is extremely talented at setting the mood and landscape of the story. One of the shortest most outstanding pieces of YA I have ever read - will really speak to those who have felt like an "alien" while growing up Hopeful and honest Truly unique and thought provoking - would love to discuss this with others Author really understands the struggle of a kid who is just a little bit different Nice spots of humour thrown in (Saves it from being too dark) The Not So Good Stuff Would have liked more, but hey I'm just being selfish Favorite Quotes/ Passages "She is so sure of herself. How did she ever get that way? Does she wake up with sunshine and rainbows streaming through her windows? Does she smile so naturally because everything is so good? Because she sleeps like she's an enchanted fairy-tale princess? Must be. No other explanation" "Here's the thing with the moon. You can still see it. Mars? Too recognizable. Jupiter is too stormy and everyone is always looking at Saturn's rings. Maybe Neptune. No one ever knows when Neptune is around. It just sits in the sky, disguised as a star." "I do like they do. I go back to reading. Always solace in a book. Always silence in there." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Perfect for a reluctant reader Would be a fantastic book for a class discussion This would be appreciated for those readers who have felt a little outside of the crowd 4.75 Dewey's I received this from Scholastic in Exchange for an Honest Review - thanks guys I will keeping this one for Jake
Date published: 2011-11-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So much in so little Contrary to what I usually read, Cecil Castellucci's First Day on Earth was a very particular book to read and, at the same time, absolutely gratifying. With a quick narrative and only 160 pages, Castellucci manages to put a great amount of content that is illustrated in Mel, a teenage boy who, at the age of 12, was abducted by Aliens. Mel struggles with many problems during this book. It is not only the fact that he was abducted, or so he thinks since he is not even 100% sure of it himself, but many of his problems also comes from his father's abandonment and his alcoholic mother. Mel is a boy who feels absolutely alone. He keeps his abduction in secret and turns into a loner with no one to get comfort from. I think the sens of belonging was really important in this book and how, just by having it, someone can overcome issues that were impossible to overcome before. Mel is a boy who struggles with teenage and family issues at the same time he struggles with his abduction. But what Mel really want is to be abducted again, leave this Earth, and be light-years away from what is hurting him. Mel, who besides feeling alone, feels alien himself on his own place. Mel also starts going to an Alien Abduction Support group where he, for the first time, starts telling what happened to him when he was twelve years-old and. In this place he also meets Hooper, a mysterious guy Mel starts, finally, to find friendship. Posey and Darwyn were other key characters that completed the story. The were lovable and special in their own way. I think without them, the end of the story might have been different and the message would not have been the same. I like the way Castellucci's writing is quick and direct to the point. This, kept me focused in the Mel's issues all the time as well as trying to figure out how Castellucci would give a bright end to a book I was finding so dark. This was, in fact, a short intense read but with a very gratifying resolution and message. Castellucci's novel was an interesting and rich twist from what I usually find on the shelves and I am really glad I read it. First Day on Earth is a life lesson in a in a short episode of a teenage boy that will nourish readers with great values and and striking experiences.
Date published: 2011-11-04

Editorial Reviews

Praise for First Day on Earth:"Castellucci crafts a gloomy and quirky metaphorical piece about being a misfit... [First Day on Earth] is touching and, most importantly, believable within the universe of these characters." -Quill & Quire"A simple, tender work that speaks to the alien in all of us." -Kirkus"The prose is spare but dense, lyrical and strongly emotive, and younger teens will find the story accessible and affecting even as older readers can revel in its emotional complexity and thematic sophistication...Ultimately, it hardly matters whether the aliens are real or metaphorical; it is Mal's earthly journey that will grab readers' hearts." -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review