A kooky kid is banished to another planet in this hilarious adventure about a futuristic world where different is dangerous, imagination is insanity, and creativity is crazy!
Norbert Riddle lives in the United State of Earth, where normal means following the rules, never standing out, and being exactly the same as everyone else, down to the plain gray jumpsuits he wears every day. He's been normal his whole life -- until a moment of temporary hilarity when he does a funny impression of their dictator, Loving Leader . . . and gets caught!
Now, Norbert's been arrested and banished to planet Zorquat 3 in the Orion Nebula, where kids who defy the rules roam free in the Astronuts camp. Norbert has been taught his whole life that different is wrong, but everyone at Astronuts is crazy, creative, and insane!
Norbert wants nothing more than to go back to earth where things are awful but at least they're familiar. But he soon realizes that being different could be better -- and maybe the crazy farm is exactly where he belongs after all.
Conformity is the ironclad rule on the United State of Earth, where individuality and imagination are banned, and middle school students wearing mandatory gray jumpsuits pledge subservience to the despotic Loving Leader daily. The laws of the land don't sit well with seventh-grader Norbert Riddle, a creative cut-up who has lived with his servile aunt and uncle since his parents were whisked away by the Truth Police. Arrested after doing a mocking impersonation of Loving Leader, Norbert is banished to another planet to live at Astro-Nuts Camp for young earthlings who are deemed "different and dangerous." He attempts to convince the camp honchos that he is a die-hard conformist loyal to Loving Leader, in hopes that he'll be sent back to Earth and find his parents. Buoyed by Aly's boisterous drawings, Norbert's droll wordplay, wisecracking banter, and oddball characters, the comedy reaches farcical heights before careening to an unforeseen conclusion. The authors balance the inanity with real-life, affecting emotion, convincingly depicting Norbert's fright as well as his yearning for his parents. A parting clue that Norbert has another space adventure ahead should get a thumbs-up from readers. Ages 8 12.