Hoby Hobson has problems. The neighborhood bully, Hammerhead Jones, is waiting for the perfect chance to clobber him. Hoby's mother is pregnant, and she's been acting oddly. And, on top of everything else, He's just discovered an invisible boy living in the hammock in Hoby's backyard. Zirc Orflandu is from the future, and he's stranded in Hoby's time until he can recharge the battery for his space cruiser. When hammer head steal's Zirc's battery, it looks like Zirc might be stuck in the past. Will Hoby be able to stand up to Hammrhead? Or will Hammerhead destroy Zirc's chances to get home to the future?
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Fifth-grader Hoby Hobson is about to be pulverized by Harold "Hammerhead" Jones, the middle school's supreme bully. The boy doesn't expect rescue to come in the form of a rotten apple, thrown by a time traveler from the next millennium. Zirc has borrowed his dad's space cruiser and accidentally flipped back 1000 years, wearing down the time-module battery in the process. He isn't supposed to be visible in this era, but his "dematerializer" is on the fritz as well. Hoby offers to help. The boys have 72 hours in which to escape the bully, fix the ship, and get Zirc back to his own time. Hoby is resourceful and realistic and Zirc's "futuristic" slang is amusing. -Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
An invisible friend from the 31st century turns out to be less help against the bully next door than a hopeful fifth-grader would like in this entertaining floater from the author of Oyster Moon (1996). As if Hoby Hobson doesn't have enough worries, between his 8½-months pregnant mother and hulking Hammerhead Jones's promise to saute or fillet him sometime very soon, up pops jumpsuit-clad Zircus Orflandu, a thousand years off course after hitting the wrong control in his dad's new space/time cruiser. Zirc comes with a personal dematerializer that only works intermittently-a comic device that, coupled with his ignorance of 21st-century ways, Meacham milks mercilessly as the two lads stumble into complications with practically every step. In an unlikely but satisfying climax, Hammerhead (" ‘one galactic dworb,' " to use Zirc's colorful phrase) is knocked down, tied up, and then grounded for bad behavior, after which Zirc takes off futureward and Hoby gets a baby brother to cherish. Not quite another Little Prince, perhaps, but young sitcom fans will be heartily amused. (Fiction. 10-12)