Ketchvar is a snail-like creature whose job is to evaluate Earthlings and determine whether they are worthy of existence, or if a more peaceful, intelligent species (living in a galaxy with a star that is about to become a supernova) deserves to live on Earth instead. Ketchvar becomes part of a random 14-year-old American boy, and is forced to handle a dysfunctional family, school bullies, and the girl next door. It's not looking good for the humans so far.
This is an extremely funny book with wide appeal, and a few interesting questions about "deserve," as in, what kind of species deserves a planet - or its continued existence, and what can an individual person do to make a difference, and what if the quality of the human race was being decided based on your individual choices - how would you measure up? Profanity and some mature references make it less appropriate for some elementary students, but it is a worthwhile read.
All of human art seems dedicated to the glorification of violence and the romanticization of the urge to procreate. The first is frequently called warfare and the second is known as love. They are both, of course, empty and artificial constructs. Today in class I was introduced to William Shakespeare's plays. I am now perusing them online. They are full of brutal violence and frustrated lovers."
The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.
**Questions coming soon**
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