I’m sure all of us love those novels that pack a real punch, landing in the gut with real impact. Not many children’s novels can really make me feel, really feel, but Krista Van Dolzer’s contemporary novel Earth to Dad certainly did the trick. This contemporary story of a father and son separated by millions of miles of space is poignant and moving.
The Story: Jameson can’t wait to hear back from his father. True, it’s been well, years, since he’s heard his dad’s voice or seen his face, but Jameson knows that it’s just because his dad’s busy. After all, the first successful mission to Mars is an important job that keeps Mr. O’Malley pretty busy, at least according to Jameson’s Mom. However, Jameson starts getting suspicious after several odd incidents involving his mom. With the help of the new girl on the JICC base, Astra Primm, Jameson decides to start investigating the truth of his dad’s job and what happened to him. But does Jameson really want to know the truth? It will require a lot of pain, not just on his part, but also on the part of his new friend, his mom, and the base. Maybe it’d just be easier if his father would ever return his transmissions to Mars – earth to Dad, Jameson’s still here!
My thoughts: This is a story that was bittersweet and cleverly thought out. Van Dolzer does an amazing job of plotting out a novel that is touching and thoughtful, while also delivering a fair amount of scientific knowledge to those so keen on space travel. I really recommend it to both parents and children. Seriously, adults, if you don’t find yourselves feeling just a little sad at the end of this story, I’d be amazed. Earth to Dad is an excellently pieced together story that shows just how important the bonds between us are, no matter the distance between us.
Parental Advisories: None! Be warned, though. Your kids may learn something from this book.