Reviewed by Melanie Kline

Mal is a loner. He doesn’t seem to fit in with anyone in his high school. He has not been close with his mother since she became an alcoholic when their father left them. The only time he has any “real” contact with people is during the weekly Alateen meetings he attends.

Mal believes that he was abducted by aliens, poked, prodded, tested and returned to Earth and that his abduction makes him different from everyone else. He spends his days and nights blocking out the people around him and wondering why the aliens don’t come back for him again. He dreams of the aliens taking him away from his life – that he dislikes so much – and allowing him to remain with them.

One night, during his weekly Alateen meeting, Mal realizes that somehow the meeting has transformed into a meeting of people who all believe that they have been abducted by aliens. He begins to pay attention, not only to the stories, but also to a fellow meeting attendee named Hooper.

In Hooper, Mal finds the courage to ask questions about why he was taken and why they don’t come back for him. Hooper and Mal learn much from each other and in an unexpected twist, Mal finds himself in the position to finally leave Earth if he so chooses.

First Day on Earth is an interesting read although the story feels distant. It is straight to the point without any side stories or over descriptiveness. This makes it difficult to relate to the characters although the gist of the story comes through perfectly.

Rating: 3/5

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Scholastic Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.