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SPHDZ (Spaceheadz #1)

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  1,123 Ratings  ·  197 Reviews
From the National Ambassador of Young People's Literature, comes the spaciest middle grade series this side of earth.  BE SPHDZ.

Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn't hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren't kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children
Hardcover, 163 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published June 18th 2010)
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Jul 18, 2011 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, funny, fiction
Another madcap romp from Jon Scieszka. On his first day of school at PS 858, Brooklyn, Michael K. is teamed up with two partners, Bob and Jennifer...well, three--if you count Fluffy, the hamster. While the rest of the class deems the threesome as either foreign (Bulgarian), "weirdos" or "slow" students, Michael K. learns that they are SPHDZ aliens, the majority of whose vocabulary stems from old tv commercials. Michael K. is impatient with their foreign ways and wants to detach himself from them ...more
Oct 14, 2011 Fiver rated it it was ok
It may be that the authors of "Spaceheadz" are trying a clever tack in their text, by trying to incorporate a multitude of buzzwords, catchphrases, and jingles into their story so as to be attractive to our current generation of kids (presumably drunk on television).
It may be that the pleasant scientific descriptions at the end of each chapter in this book are meant to sneak some education into the well-watered-down entertainment of these kids.

For those possibilities, and the off chance that I'
Eva Mitnick
Michael K. is a regular sort of 5th grader, but Jennifer (square head, wears a tutu, spouts Wrestlemania slogans, eats pencils and other inappropriate items) and Bob (square head, wears a pink shirt, spouts advertising slogans, hugs fire hydrants and other inappropriate objects) are space aliens. Oh, and so is Fluffy, who looks like a hamster but doesn't act like one.

The plot, such as it is, involves Jennifer, Bob, and Fluffy trying to enlist Michael K.'s help to unite all humans into one big SP
Abby Johnson
May 22, 2010 Abby Johnson rated it did not like it
What the... what?

I was so excited about this book, but now I'm just... confused. Michael K, new kid in school, gets stuck sitting with two very weird also-new kids in his fifth grade class. They keep telling him they're aliens (Spaceheadz, actually) and that they have to get 3.14 million people to become SPHDZ or the Earth will be turned off. Their only knowledge of the Earth is from commercials and television, so that's their frame of reference.

I can get on board with the wacky. That's not my
Mar 30, 2011 Nikki rated it did not like it
I came into this with really high hopes. Scieszka wrote "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales," which made me laugh until I cried when I was younger.
SPHDZ just didn't live up. It felt more like a they picked an author who they knew could sell air and tried to find out how many advertisements they could squeeze into 164 pages. The plot fell by the wayside. You have to fork out for the second book to find out what the point of the drama is.
The best thing about this book is that the
Jan 02, 2014 Gaby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I realise this book is meant for kids but it really is ridiculous! I'm not sure I fully understood all that was going on. It was fast paced which was good and the illustrations work with the text well but generally the font and layout made it difficult/unpleasant to read.
Jun 30, 2010 Donalyn rated it liked it
I think that many children (especially boys who may not enjoy reading) will like this silly, quirky story of three aliens that attempt to assimilate into a 5th grade class. I hated that the book so clearly launches a franchise including websites and sequels, though.
Vian Selvanathan
Jan 31, 2017 Vian Selvanathan rated it really liked it
This book is about a boy named Michael who finds out that there are aliens on his planet and he has to work with them or else the planet would be destroyed.

I would recommend this book to people who like fiction and aliens.
Nov 19, 2011 Beth marked it as abandoned
I can see where some would find this funny, but I just couldn't find the humor.
Mary Lee
Jul 05, 2010 Mary Lee rated it liked it
Fun in a crazy, wacky, random way that some readers will love and others will not get at all.
May 26, 2017 Lori rated it did not like it
Good God I lost respect for the other librarians who chose this book as a BOB book for next year. I guess it's at least a quick read. I did laugh once or twice at certain witty lines, but I think they might be over my kids' heads.
Harold Ogle
An easy chapter book for older children (the protagonist is in 5th grade), Spaceheadz is fun in large part because it's so...meta. The conceit of the book is that aliens who've been watching TV for decades have come to Earth to take over, and they spout commercial jingles as aphorisms, believing them to be true (Charmin is a natural construction material, because it's "ultra strong," for example). So you have an illustration of how commercial advertising's insidious claims influence more than we ...more
Feb 04, 2013 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, humor, boy-book
(From Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn't hard enough, the kids who want to be friends with him apparently aren't kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,140,001 kids to BE SPHDZ so that the Earth will not be “turned off” thus depriving the interstellar civilizations of our tasty TV and radio waves containing commercials,
Madigan McGillicuddy
Oct 19, 2010 Madigan McGillicuddy rated it really liked it
Hurrah! Scieszka and Company are in rare form, with this humorous science-fiction middle-grade adventure. Fifth-grader Michael K. gets stuck with the task of showing two new kids, Bob and Jennifer, the ropes in Mrs. Halley's classroom. He quickly realizes that they are both out-of-this world... literally, from another planet. The only information that Jennifer, Bob and their hamster leader, Major Fluffy, have about planet Earth is from television commercials, beamed into space. Media-savvy reade ...more
Sarah BT
Sep 15, 2010 Sarah BT rated it really liked it
the Book:
The perfect combination of the age old experience of holding and pouring
over a physical book with newest media technology that kids love!

Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn't hard
enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren't kids
at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form
of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to
convince 3,140,001 kids to BE SPHDZ. But with a hamster as
Zoe Lampman
Dec 04, 2014 Zoe Lampman rated it liked it
Spaceheadz, Book #1, by Jon Scieszka, is a creative and funny science fiction chapter book. It is about fifth-grader, Michael K.'s first day at a new school. He is seated next to and placed into groups with two other new students, Jennifer and Bob, who are very strange. They do not seem to know anything about typical American school or expected behavior and they speak almost exclusively in commercial slogans or sayings, such as McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It." They even sound just like the commercial ...more
May 20, 2011 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, brendan, moira, lia
By Jon Scieszka
Grades 3+

Could Michael K.’s first day of fifth grade at a new school be any worse?
Apparently, yes it can.

Michael K. is seated next to other new kids who are very odd. The girl eats pencils and the boy talks to the class hamster. Both children speak in commercial tag lines and claim that Michael K. is the key to keeping Earth from “turning off”. All he has to do is get three point one four million and one earthlings to be Spaceheadz so the new kids can go home and feed
Any book that name-checks the nastiest old old-man dive bar in Park Slope automatically gains my respect. I was happily muddling through this latest goof-fest from Former Ambassador Scieszka, when the Beset Protagonist and his friendly alien antagonists walked past a building with a sign on it that read "Jackie's 5th Amendment." Jackie's 5th Amendment? Dude. I knew the kids were in Brooklyn, and I even knew they were in Park Slope, but they were on 5th Avenue just down from the Chip Shop? I was ...more
Jun 11, 2010 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, middlegrade
Why I read this: Jon Scieszka writes some of the funniest kids books around and I couldn't resist checking this one out.

Plot: Michael K. is a new kid just wanting to fit in at a new school, but the two classmates he has to sit next to are out of this world weird - literally. This two kids claim they are SPHDZs, along with the class hamster. They were sent down to help Earth avert a horrible disaster, but they need the help of Michael K. Of course, Michael thinks these kids are really bizarre, so
Apr 26, 2010 Wrighty rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, for-review
This was a quirky, goofy story tailored to young children, especially boys. The cover grabs your attention with it's bright colors, whimsical text and clever illustrations that are also carried throughout the book. The artwork was not finalized in the ARC so there are even more illustrations in the finished edition.

Michael K. is the new kid, a sympathetic character who's having a rough first day at school. Add in the other new kids and the class hamster, who just happen to be aliens, and it can'
Debra Lowman
Jun 20, 2013 Debra Lowman rated it really liked it
On his first day of school at PS 858, in Brooklyn, Michael is seated next to Bob and Jennifer. There is something different about Bob and Jennifer. It's not that they are foreign (Bulgarian), weird or specialized ed students like the rest of his class seems to think, it is, in fact, that they are aliens. You can find about every major label jingle in their vocabulary as they learned English from TV.

What ensues in Michael's struggle to either rid himself of the aliens via Agent Umber, who desper
A really hilarious, fast-paced book for younger readers that manages to have the good sense to dip its toe in potty humor every now and then without going too crazy with it. While the book is odd, the plot is actually also fairly comprehensible for a silly novel of its genre (and I don't know why almost all the sci-fi aimed at younger readers is so goofy, but that often feels like its the case).

Most students have a hard time starting school, but Michael K. has it even worse: Bob and Jennifer, t
Sarah W
Apr 09, 2011 Sarah W rated it liked it
Michael K.'s first day of fifth grade is off to a horrible start. At his new school he's already been grouped with two of the strangest children, who are also new. There's something very not right about Bob and Jennifer, and that's with ignoring that Jennifer ate half of his pencil. They don't know why people raise their hands or why there are lines to go to recess. What they say makes no sense, especially when they say the class hamster is their mission leader. Bob and Jennifer claim to be alie ...more
Ronald Roseborough
Jun 14, 2010 Ronald Roseborough rated it really liked it
Fifth grade was never this bad, was it? First day in a new school and the two kids sitting next to Michael K. are either the weirdest kids ever or they are space aliens. (Well they must be from outer space because Dillard Picklebury from my fourth grade class was the weirdest kid ever. But I digress.) Bob and Jennifer let Michael know right away, that they are spaceheadz from another planet. Michael wishes he was on another planet or at least not assigned to sit next to these two loonies. Despit ...more
Which came first? The book that is in turn promoted by the website? or was the book written to promote the website? Advertising’s claims (such as Charmin is “ultra strong,” thus making it a good material for construction) have lured aliens to Earth. They plan to take over the planet and masquerade as school students in order to do so. When Michael meets his new classmates, he comes to realize that they learned all their English from television jingles.

Michael debates turning the imposters in an
Mar 08, 2013 E2south rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A boy is in fifth grade. His name is Michael K. He's new at his school and just wants to fit in. But there are these two kids who are indescribably weird; Bob and Jennifer. I'll try to describe them; Bob hugs fire hydrants and likes purple Dora backpacks and Jennifer eats pencils and talks like a wrestling commentary person. They insist that Michael K. Is the only one who can stop the Earth from being turned off.

Meanwhile, there's this secret agent guy who tracks down aliens. He wants to have a
On his first day in a new school, Michael K. is grouped with two other new students in school, visiting aliens Bob and Jennifer and hamster Fluffy. And they need Michael's help to save the world. Of course, Michael is the only one who knows they are aliens and who's going to believe him anyhow? Agent Umber from the AAA would, if he wasn't such a dud as a special agent.

I'm pretty sure that kids are going to like this book heaps more than I did, although I did find Bob and Jennifer's education by
Jon Scieszka is a children's publishing legend. The former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, he is also the author The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Stinky Cheese Man and the Time Warp Trio, to name a few. He is also the creator of the Trucktown series for pre-school boys. Scieszka has been a one man band when it comes to getting boys to read.

SPHDZ is this the latest edition to his stable of funny, often silly and ridiculous, yet entertaining literature for boys. This
Mary Ann
May 23, 2010 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
While this series isn’t for everyone (I'd give it a 3 1/2 stars), some kids – especially reluctant readers or readers who like figuring out a puzzle – will enjoy the short chapters, references to pop culture, fake websites, and crazy situations that Michael K. finds himself in. Other reviews have commented that it was confusing, but I followed the plot without problems. The chase scenes and goofy situations that Michael’s new “friends” get into are funny, but the ending did not have the zip and ...more
Sep 04, 2010 melissa1lbr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complete and utter frivolity. It was so fun to read, if a bit confusing and ridiculous. Kids, boys especially, will find entertainment galore. If you like a little sci-fi with your books, this will also please. Definitely, when the kids get a little older, they will not love it as much, as it will seem juvenile and silly. It comes with some fun websites to continue the adventure. And I loved the silly pictures that came with it. I think the final copy even comes with stickers as well. Fun for th ...more
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Jon Scieszka is a writer and teacher. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and two children. Occasionally he has been known to howl at the full moon. --from the dust jacket of "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs"

Jon Scieszka is also the author of the best-selling ALA Notable Book, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, as well as Knights of the Kitchen Table, and The Not-So-Jolly Roger
More about Jon Scieszka...

Other Books in the Series

Spaceheadz (4 books)
  • SPHDZ (Spaceheadz, #2)
  • SPHDZ (Spaceheadz, #3)
  • SPHDZ 4 Life (Spaceheadz, #4)

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