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We're Not from Here

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,414 ratings  ·  310 reviews
Imagine being forced to move to a new planet where YOU are the alien!

The first time I heard about Planet Choom, we'd been on Mars for almost a year. But life on the Mars station was grim, and since Earth was no longer an option (we may have blown it up), it was time to find a new home.

That's how we ended up on Choom with the Zhuri. They're very smart. They also look like g
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Crown
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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There’s stuff in the publishing industry that “everybody knows”. For example, it wasn’t that long ago that “everybody knew” that books with green covers wouldn’t sell. Then Percy Jackson comes along and so much for that theory (it’s sepia covers that don't sell, anyway). “Everybody knew” that kids weren’t all that into fantasy right up until the moment Harry Potter started a worldwide craze. But there’s a pretty persistent “everybody knows” theory floating around out there that continues to this ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Everyone agrees this was a very entertaining book.
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Lan and his family live on a Martian space station. The earth is no longer hospitable and the space station is running out of food and oxygen. So what's left of the human race reaches out to the planet Choom that is run by the Zhuri species. After diplomatic efforts it is agreed that humans are welcome to join the Zhuri on the planet Choom... But to get there they need to be placed in stasis as the journey takes twenty years...

Flash forward twenty years later and a new conservative government is
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
If I have to be home sick, at least there are lots of good books to keep me company. This science fiction story should be in all middle-grade collections. Exciting, with great characters, and interesting thoughts about immigration. Well-deserved Oddysey Honor yesterday, and it's inspired me to go back through the Oddyseys to help feed my audiobook addiction. ...more
Ms. B
(view spoiler) What happens when mankind evacuates Earth and immigrate to another planet? Can four alien species coexist together? Can Lan and her family prove that the Earthlings belong? Fun and serious at the same time, Geoff Rodkey does an excellent job of exploring the current state of politics, immigration and even entertainment. ...more
Richie Partington
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: WE’RE NOT FROM HERE by Geoff Rodkey, Random House/Crown Books for Young Readers, March 2019, 256p., ISBN: 978-1-5247-7304-5

“President Trump on Tuesday said that the nuclear launch button on his desk is ‘much bigger’ and ‘more powerful’ than that of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un -- and that his button actually ‘works.’”
-- The Hill (1/2/2018)

“Show some emotion
Open your heart
Set free an ocean
Only a feeling can save us now”
-- Celine Dion (1992)

“Then Naya and I joined Ila, my pa
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, music, humor, family
This book was a lot smarter than I thought it was going to be. With the cover image featuring two large aliens that look like giant insects, I assumed it would just be goofy fun but it was so much more. Refugees who thought they were welcome find themselves suddenly vilified by the current government?! Forced to prove they are good creatures even though the news says they are clearly bad based on footage seen 20 years ago.

Definitely taking this with me for booktalks to upper elementary and midd
Сибин Майналовски
Very pleasant and delightful reading. Even adults may be interested in such kind of story, I hope... and for children it's definitely a must-read. Sad that it has no sequel — I'd love to know what happened after the big finale :) ...more
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, youth
I enjoyed this more than I expected! It took awhile, at first sounded too childish but as the story depth grows I felt more involved. The silly humor and situations were great! There are some strange aliens! And not ones I can say I'd normally want to meet. Everything is easy to relate to. Right down to the tv they can watch. I really liked the pace and the younger perspective of a very dire situation. The story had a sense of urgency I like but it was kept somewhat light-hearted. Great narratio ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey, 256 pages. Crown Books (Random House), 2019. $17.

Language: G (0 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (attacks)



Earth has been destroyed and only a few hundred survivors have made it off safely in a few prepared ships and tried to make a go of it on Mars. As the conditions on Mars worsen, they have made contact with Planet Choom, a place about 20 years away, populated by four groups of non-hu
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
**I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley for an honest review**

Omg this was such a cute and interesting book. I really liked the unique setting, and just found myself flying through this story. This book is also extremely frustrating but in a way that makes you want to keep going to see how everything works out in the end! Definitely in my top middle grade favorites of all time now!
Sherry Guice
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: child-lit-sci-fi
Humorous and clever with multiple layers--I think children will like the voice of the main character who struggles to fit in a world far different. Maybe good for grades 4 and up???
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
#randomhouse #partner - Happy book birthday to Geoff Rodkey’s WE’RE NOT FROM HERE! As if Rodkey’s NYT Bestselling Author status wasn’t enough intro… WE’RE NOT FROM HERE calls out and leverages the imagination co-creation between author and reader in a sci-fi / political satire manages to be both profound and hilarious.

I’m going to put one of the most brilliant parts of this book up front: We can guess at Lan’s race, but we don’t know his/her gender. Going back to the whole “this book is brillian
Anna Taylor
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Funny, interesting, fast-paced, and includes a protagonist that never reveals their gender. This book exceeds the cover which in itself is a reason to pick up the book. Currently craving those food blocks though...
Laura Gardner
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is officially one of my favorite books of the year. It manages to be funny, topical, and clever all in one. It's short, but very impactful. I can't wait to read it with students! ...more
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, ya-children
This book is solid children's science fiction, with spaceships, several alien races, and the destruction of Earth, which happened before the book starts. The few thousand survivors of Earth camp out on Mars, but it isn't a long-term survivable option. Luckily, there's an invitation from a planet that's inhabited by four alien species. Lan, the protagonist, and his parents and older sister, are among the thousand or so humans that decide to go.

After 20 years of bio-suspension, they arrive at the
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent middle grade science fiction novel in which the survivors of planet earth are seeking a home on the planet Choom. Many residents are against them because of humanity's history of violence but one family unit is granted a trial visit to prove the worth of the group. There is a lot of comedy in this book and a lot of action as well. The three species who currently inhabit Choom are all very individual and interesting. The role that pheromones play in the insect creatures comm ...more
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We're Not from Here is a hilarious book that made us think what if our Earth blew up, and we had to live on a different planet with different species. It's a thoughtful book that helps us learn about how comedy and performing arts could help people learn about their culture and find similar interests. It's an inspiring book that tells us even a single small group of beings could make a change for a huge planet. However, this is also a mirror of racism. The government on the planet Choom tried to ...more
Gina Schaarschmidt
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Another straight-up science fiction book, which is a good thing and was unusual for a while there. This one is funny. A different take on being the new kid at school ( the family is the new species on a planet). Fun, relatable, and with a bit of immigration commentary thrown in. Loved it.
Reading is my Escape
"The first time I heard about Planet Choom, we'd been on Mars for almost a year. But life on the Mars station was grim, and since Earth was no longer an option (we may have blown it up), it was time to find a new home."

Humanity may have found their last hope. The Zhuri invited the humans to take refuge on Planet Choom, but in the 20 years it took to get there, the Zhuri changed their minds. Now Lan, his sister, and his parents are the only humans allowed on Choom and they must convince the Zhuri
Josephine Sorrell
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery-2020
With Earth destroyed, humans have successfully petitioned Planet Choom to take them in as refugees. Problem, it takes 20 years to get to Choom. They arrive and wake from suspended animation to learn they are no longer welcome. There is a new government now who thinks humans are mean and destructive.

Amora Persaud, who’s on the ship’s Governing Council, is able to negotiate a trial run, in which the Mifune family will be allowed to land and prove humans can peacefully assimilate. Being the new ki
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 4.5

What would you do if the entire human population's fate rested on your shoulders?
This is what Lan and his family are having to do, they are trying to save the humans that are left after Earth was destroyed. They have been living on Mars for about a year but life is not good so they contacted Planet Choom. The official on Planet Choom agreed for them to come live there but after the long time travel, the new authorities have changed their minds. The problem
I would find this interesting to read with a group of 5th through 8th graders. It wouldn't be a very challenging read for them, in terms of vocabulary or text quality, but it does have a number of issues I would find interesting to discuss, as the book progresses. For example, early on, the survivors of a catastrophe on Earth, who have moved to another planet have determined that they cannot live in perpetuity on that planet and must seek another planet. The choices seem to be 1) to return to a ...more
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, dark, j, not-graphic, sci-fi
The best comedy is always philosophy and social commentary underneath, and that's the case here. While bursting with entertaining humor, this science fiction tale offers thoughtful considerations of propaganda, mob mentality, refugees and immigrants, race relations, and more. Readers find themselves simultaneously laughing and thinking. It's a rare and deft feat. Definitely recommended.
"Hi. Yes . . . ?"

"Why do you kill other humans?"

The question felt like a punch in the stomach.

"I don't," I said
Amanda - Cover2CoverMom
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
You can read all of my reviews on my blog -> Cover2CoverMom Blog

What I Liked...
» At it’s core, We’re Not From Here was a powerful social commentary on immigration. Rodkey did a wonderful job with his portrayal of the immigrant experience of taking the reader and placing them in the shoes of someone that has immigrated from another place. I feel like this book will be relatable for many kids, not only for the immigrant experience aspect for those that are immigrants, but also being relatable for
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great sci-fi middle grade adventure!
Planet earth is no longer inhabitable so a group of a few thousand recolonize on Mars, but that wasn’t working out either. As things are getting worse on Mars they get an invitation to come to Planet Choom. Off they go to Choom, their last hope of survival and a 20 year trip.. When they get there they discover that Choom’s government has changed their mind on the invitation.
So now what do they do? The government allows one family unit to stay as a
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
R. G. Nairam
I wanted a bit more from this than it gave me. I think it did a great job of exploring a number of various ideas, but very few of them to completed, nuanced conclusions. It felt like while the story did wrap up (a bit hurriedly), the themes were left hanging. There were also some things that were just never explained (why is Choom operating on a democratic system anyway? just because middle grade children will know what that means? are we supposed to understand Ila's depression as easily cured?) ...more
The Kawaii Slartibartfast
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I really, really loved this book. I have a thing for kids books that don't treat their audience like they need to be spoon-fed.

The story starts with Lan and their family going to the planet Choom after being in a sleep for decades.
Unfortunately the government has changed and the Hunan's are no longer welcome.
What happens next is an very well written story of xenophobia and the friendships with the al
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a lot of interesting points of discussion. If a planet promises refuge, do they have to keep that promise if government changes hands? If emotion has caused what amounted to genocide, is it safer to eliminate all emotion? Since humans are guilty of such destruction in their history, how can humans as a species be trusted? What's the value of art and humor in a culture? And so on.

But what I found most compelling in this book was the how the main character was written to be non-gende
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Geoff Rodkey is the New York Times bestselling author of the suburban-apocalypse comedy LIGHTS OUT IN LINCOLNWOOD (July 2021) and ten books for middle grade kids: Kevin Hart's MARCUS MAKES A MOVIE (June 2021); the science fiction comedy WE'RE NOT FROM HERE; the illustrated comedy THE TAPPER TWINS GO TO WAR (WITH EACH OTHER) and its three sequels; the critically acclaimed CHRONICLES OF EGG adventur ...more

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