Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth


Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth


HarperCollins Publishers

Publication Year





336 pages


science fiction



Item Type



Prez knows that the best way to keep track of things is to make a list. That's important when you have a grandfather who is constantly forgetting. And it's even more important when your grandfather can't care for you anymore and you have to go live with a foster family out in the country. Prez is still learning to fit in at his new home when he answers the door to meet Sputnik—a kid who is more than a little strange. First, he can hear what Prez is thinking. Second, he looks like a dog to everyone except Prez. Third, he can manipulate the laws of space and time. Sputnik, it turns out is an alien, and he's got a mission that requires Prez's help: the Earth has been marked for destruction, and the only way they can stop it is to come up with ten reasons why the planet should be saved. Thus begins one of the most fun and eventful summers of Prez's life, as he and Sputnik set out on a journey to compile the most important list Prez has ever made—and discover just what makes our world so remarkable.

Grade Level

3-5; 6-8

Lexile Measure


Diversity Topics

Family Relationships; Foster care; foster child; foster family; foster parents; foster home

Main Character

male child


Dog / White

Family Formation

foster mother and father


Carnegie Medal, 2017, Short List, Children's Book
UKLA Children's Book Award, 2017, Long List, Ages (7-11)
Berkshire Book Award, 2017, Short List, Children's Book
Cybils Awards, 2017, Nominee, Elementary and Middle Grade (Speculative Fiction)
Independent Book Shop Week Book Award, 2017, Short List, Children's Book
Best Children's Books of the Year, 2018 Ages (9 to 12)
Excellence in Children's and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable Lists, 2018 Eleanor Cameron (Middle Grade)
Booklist Book Review Stars, 2017
Booklist Top 10 SF/Fantasy/Horror for Youth, 2017
Kirkus Best Middle Grade Books, 2017 Best Middle-Grade Fantasy
Kirkus Book Review Stars, 2017
Recommended Books for Young Readers, 2017 Junior Reader
School Library Journal Best Books, 2017 Middle Grade


grandfather; dog; life; alien; pressure; farm; smoking; chores; routine; mission; kilt; mind reading

Diversity Impact


Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth