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Earth to Dad
Earth to Dad
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Reviewed Titles
Capstone Editions

Earth to Dad

Eleven-year-old Jameson O'Malley's dad is on Mars. The only way to see him, other than squinting into the night sky, is through the JICC - short for Jameson's Interplanetary Communication Console. Jameson thought the JICC would help shorten the millions of miles that stretch between Base Ripley and Mars, but he's is starting to realize no transmission can replace his real, actual father. When a new family moves onto Base Ripley, Jameson makes an unlikely friend in Astra Primm, daughter of the country's leading climatologist, who died in an explosion on Mars. But as Jameson's friendship with Astra grows stronger, he begins to notice the flaws in his own family. Mom is growing distant, and something is wrong with Dad. He's not sending transmissions as frequently as he used to, and when he does there are bags under his eyes. Jameson begins to realize there's more to the story than he knows - and plenty people aren't telling him. Determined to learn the truth and discover what happened to their parents, Jameson and Astra embark on a journey exploring life, loss, and friendship that will take them to the edge of their universe.

GenreFantasy & Science Fiction
Reading LevelGrades 4-8
Interest LevelGrades 4-8
Lexile Level830L
Text TypeLiterature: Narrative
PublisherCapstone Editions
BrandCapstone Editions
Page Dimensions5 1/4" x 7 1/2"
Page Count320
School/Library Price



Fantasy Literature - Jana Nyman

"With emphases firmly on friendship and forgiveness, Earth to Dad is, at heart, a sweet story about having to grow up a little too quickly, but taking solace in friends and loved ones along the way." - Fantasy Literature

August 1, 2018

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - WJ

"While Van Dolzer presents a future fraught with militarized inequity and resource scarcity, the charming friendship formed between the two kids, based on a mutual longing for their missing parents, is the undeniable heart of the novel. Even when Jameson plans to stow away on a spacecraft to search for his dad, the novel is less futuristic adventure than more realistic story of childhood loss. In the end, Jameson, Astra, and their remaining earthbound parents emerge as a new and supportive family unit, while all hope isn’t quite lost for Jameson’s dad and, perhaps, humanity." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

July 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews

"Two children find friendship against a backdrop of apocalypse. . . .Van Dolzer uses her apocalyptic setting to highlight this story of grief, creating believable, likable child characters. . . .[a] thoughtful novel." - Kirkus Reviews

June 1, 2018


School Library Journal - Stefanie Hughes, Mt. Pleasant, TX

"In this futuristic world, an asteroid has caused the earth to begin drifting ever closer to the sun; global warming, toxic radiation, food shortages, and new technologies are the new normal. There is just enough tension and unease to propel readers without overwhelming them. . . .A solid choice for upper elementary and middle school students who want dystopia but are not ready for the intensity and violence that defines the YA offerings in the genre." - School Library Journal

July 1, 2018

Foreword Reviews - Camille-Yvette Welsch

"Astra and Jameson’s friendship stands at the story’s center. Caught in the middle, they gravitate closer to each other. Each child is wrought with depth and heart as they grieve their missing parents and figure out how to move forward. The adults that surround them also have compelling stories, plus the added difficulty of helping their children cope with an absent parent. Well-paced and rich, this story will encourage considerations of climate change, space travel, and the particular challenges faced by families addressing both." - Foreword Reviews

July 1, 2018

Booklist Online - J.B. Petty

"Elements in the book (loss, grief, anger, friendship, family dynamics, climate change, and space exploration) combine to make this a captivating read. Strong character development and plotting keep the pages turning as the two friends risk all for each other." - Booklist Online

July 18, 2018

Krista Van Dolzer

Krista Van Dolzer

Krista Van Dolzer is a stay-at-home mom by day and a children's author by bedtime. She lives with her husband and four kids in Layton, Utah, where she watches too much college football and looks for her dead people online. Krista is also the author of The Sound of Life and Everything and Don't Vote for Me, as well as the forthcoming Don't Solve the Puzzle.

Go to the Author’s Page →