A high school outcast spends his life hoping to be abducted by aliens in this funny, quirky novel about finding your footing in a world that sometimes feels like Mars.
Convinced his mother has been abducted by aliens, Charlie Dickens spends his nights with an eye out for UFOs, hoping to join her. After all, she said the aliens would come back for him. Charlie will admit that he doesn’t have many reasons to stick around; he doesn’t get along well with his father, he’s constantly bullied at school and at work, and the only friend he has is his 600-pound neighbor Geoffrey, and Geoffrey’s three-legged dog, Tickles.
Then Charlie meets confident, easy-going Seth, who shows him what real friendship is all about. For once, he finds himself looking around at the life he’s built, rather than looking up. But sooner than he expected, Charlie has to make a decision: should he stay or should he go?
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"Olson’s story is one of losing something and finding it again, told in the voice of an easily relatable protagonist as he faces the ups and downs of friendship and family. Poignant yet hopeful, this is a lesson in grief, loneliness, and what it means to truly dream." - Booklist
An "emotionally substantive slice-of-life glimpse at a boy trying to mean something in the universe." - Kirkus Reviews
"EARTH TO CHARLIE is a tender, gentle story about loss, friendship, growing up and reminding yourself of all the beautiful parts in the world you have yet to experience." - Teenreads
"For both Charlie and readers, UFOs offer a clever metaphor for things both longed for and obscure, but as the novel concludes, optimism blends with realism in a hopeful ending." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Wow. This book was incredible. I don't say that often, but it's true. This book deserves all the praise it can get and more." - First Looks Book Club Member Adam, Age 14
Copyright © 2023 Justin Olson