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Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius
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Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius (Journal of a Cardboard Genius)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  231 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Self-proclaimed genius inventor Alex is convinced that his little brother Jonathan is evil. The kid never shuts up. He's a klutz, and he drools on his pillow when he sleeps. Jonathan's specialty, though, is sticking to Alex like glue --- and sticking his nose into his big brother's business.

That's why Alex has to leave Earth and fly so far away that no one will ever be ab
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Kids Can Press (first published 2006)
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Rachel Hartman
Jun 09, 2012 Rachel Hartman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read it, in fact, but my 8-year-old son really loves it. This has resulted in some enormous cardboard constructions, which I'm cool with. Wandering the alley in search of junk to use is less fun for me, but I am pleased by his focus on this project.

Also: he's stopped bugging me to give him a sibling, so that's a bonus.
Book talk: Einstein has nothing on Alex. Sure, Einstein has the theory of relativity to his name, but Alex has created a spaceship from only cardboard, duct tape, and other scraps found in the attic of his parents' house. Life is bound to be lonely in space, and Alex will miss his parents and his friends, but it will be worth it to get away from his little brother Jonathan. Until then he has to put up with him though, which can get in the way of his work. His brother's annoying ways are the reas ...more
Very cute early-ish chapter book, perfect for second grade. Our narrator, Alex, is a scientific genius who has figured out how to make a spaceship out of cardboard boxes, all to get away from his annoying younger brother Jonathan. Alex's voice is authentic and age-appropriate (I know Jonathan is 6, but unclear on how much older Alex is), and his perspective on Jonathan and his parents is always deadpan and frequently hilarious. Most of the narrative is spent with Alex and Jonathan as the younger ...more
Dec 04, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned that kids LOVE to make things from junk. I cleaned out my storage room and brought all sorts of things to school for October's PK Book Club. You wouldn't believe all the space ships that were constructed!
Mar 03, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-programming
Great book for 2-3-4 Grade boys. I think of it as what happened to Harold of 'Harold and the Purple Crayon' when he got a bit older.
Adrian Dahlquist

Star Jumper by Frank Ash is journeys through the life of a young scientist/inventory named Alex. He is a self proclaimed mastermind who narrates his personal account through his journal of a cardboard genius. Alex has on major problem; his brother. Six year old Jonathan always seems to make life difficult for Alex. He is always prying and always annoying Alex when he is working on his inventions. However, older brother Alex is smarter and stronger; he has come up with the greatest idea which wil
Ethan Bierlein
Nov 03, 2013 Ethan Bierlein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book title: Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard genius
Author: Frank Asch
Lexile: 640L
Star rating: 3.5 stars

I liked this book because it is one of those "kid genius" books, where there is a super smart kid who can do like anything, and in this story there is a kid named Alex who built a rocket out of cardboard to escape to another galaxy just to get away from his pest of a brother. Another reason I liked this book is because I can completely relate to this book, having a younger brother who can be
Apr 26, 2008 Carissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
this book celebrates the confident imagination of a young boy who claims throughout the book to be inventing a spaceship (and all of its component parts) from cardboard boxes and pieces of junk throughout his home. it’s been awhile since i’ve read a book for this age group (early chapter book readers) that does this trick of seeming to be based in reality (there are no aliens and we’re not in the “future”) but whose main character is so convinced that he can make a functioning spaceship and “dup ...more
Sarah Shufelt
Self-proclaimed kid-genius Alex despises his younger brother Jonathan. Alex uses his technical skills and random things gathered from around his house to create a spaceship to get away from Jonathan. Alex is successful, but he returns home quickly. He then invents other ways to escape or anger his younger brother. While the sibling rivalry and use of outer space in the book might be appealing to young readers, the book lacks a satisfying end and the continuous sibling bashing is disconcerting. ...more
Lynda Schmidt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 09, 2013 Jnase1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 because the main character is so mean to his little brother. Written on a fourth grade reading level, but younger readers would enjoy it, although some scientific terms mentioned throughout (like string theory) might be even over fourth graders' heads. Overall, it was enjoyable, but overly embellished in exaggeration of impossible events. Even a cardboard genius can't jump through walls, fly to space, or shrink people with cardboard and everyday household items. However, this story might enc ...more
Dec 09, 2013 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-kids
A boy uses cardboard and scrap materials to build a star ship to take him away from his bratty younger brother. Very imaginative and occasionally amusing. The depth of hatred the older sibling has for the younger gets old very quickly. Both siblings act very young in the story but the older is apparently at least 10. It would be hard to recommend this book to children simply because I'm not sure what age group it is directed toward.
Jul 16, 2014 Librarystar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! My students and I can so relate to the pesky little sibling syndrome. Funny, relatable, with 2 more books following, Gravity Buster and Time Twister. Found this author, (Frank Asche) while ordering his charming Moon Bear books. I read it to my fourth graders, but great for second grade and up.
Aug 10, 2008 Mandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Mandi by: the school
I read this to my 10 & 8 year old kids because it is on their Battle of the Books list. We really enjoyed the imagination of the boy in the story. Right up my kids' alley since cardboard boxes and duct tape are also 2 of their favorite things to play with! It's easy to read and we had it done in about a week.
May 23, 2012 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 4th/5th boys, easy read
Recommended to Christina by: 5th grade summer reading
For younger readers. Easy read. Not sure I liked the disdain the older brother has for his younger brother. The imaginative diagrams and references to science are unique and charming. Would appeal to boys in particular.
Jan 17, 2016 Trina rated it really liked it
Great read aloud for my 9 year old girl and 6 year old boy. About a boy who builds things with junk, just like my 6 year old likes to do. Didn't like the parts of the book where the older boy said unkind things about his younger sibling.
3rd or 4th grade reading level. Older brother is a genius who can create amazing devises out of cardboard and other household objects so decides to build a space ship to get away from his annoying younger brother.
Jun 09, 2008 Corinne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young boys
A budding scientist uses cardboard to make a spaceship to escape his younger brother. Drawings are scattered throughout the book. It says it's a journal but is doesn't seem very 'journally' - no dates written.
Christian B.
Oct 19, 2009 Christian B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was an awsome book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 20, 2013 Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, diary
I like this book, because it has all of these inventing going on. I really want to be a scientist in the future, so this book is really interesting to me. It talks about a boy named alex had a little brother which is really annoying, so he decided to invent a space ship and escape earth.
Oct 23, 2012 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I think Alex is very smart. Alex dislike his little brother Jonathan. Jonathan eats with very bad manners. Alex wanted to make a spaceship and go to somewhere in space. Alex made different things to go like atom slider and more.
Mar 11, 2012 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Alex has a new baby brother, Jonathan, whom he hates. Thank goodness that Alex is a scientific genius and an inventor; he figures he must do something to get away from Planet Earth to avoid the evil child. Great read!
Jun 20, 2014 Earl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, 2014
This is one of our bestselling books at our store. I’ve recommended it plenty of times but, after having read it through, I feel I can do an even better job. Very creative including the illustrations of all the materials Alex uses to make his creations. Good for readers who like space and/or Legos.
Feb 24, 2011 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-adventure, j-funny
Have you ever just wanted to get away from a little brother or sister? Kid genius Alex is determined to do just that... so determined that he builds his own spaceship to travel far enough away that his brother can never find him. Will Alex's plan work?
An early chapter book with vocabulary that will be challenging for second graders and budding romance that will be challenging for 3rd and 4th graders. Honestly, I'm not sure who the target audience for this book is, but it is funny in a predictable sort of way.
Oct 17, 2009 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This is a Maud Hart Lovelace nominee about a boy who is sick of his younger brother. He thinks he is beyond Einstein smart and it is a clever breezy story about siblings and using imagination to deal with annoying situations. I think it would be a good read aloud.
Jul 11, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great little series for boys who are reluctant to read.
Dec 02, 2008 Jaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jaron by: Jamis
I liked the battle johnathan's vs alex's.
Powers Family
Jun 04, 2011 Powers Family rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben enjoyed this story and marveled at how they made a device to go to space out of cardboard and using 2 double a batteries!
This was a really cute and funny children's book. I enjoyed it and think it would be fun to read with younger kids!
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Frank Asch is an American children's writer, best known for his Moonbear picture books.

Asch published his first picture book, George's Store, in 1968. The following year he graduated from Cooper Union with a BFA. Since then he has taught at a public school in India, as well as at a Montessori school in the United States, conducted numerous creative workshops for children. He has written over 60 bo
More about Frank Asch...

Other Books in the Series

Journal of a Cardboard Genius (3 books)
  • Gravity Buster: Journal #2 of a Cardboard Genius
  • Time Twister: Journal #3 of a Cardboard Genius

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