ALBERT THE ASTRONOMER by Allan Havis

ALBERT THE ASTRONOMER

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Alone in his room with his telescope, sixth-grader Albert Bloom spots flying saucers (30 so far) and writes in his secret notebooks about his troubles with parents and grades and about mean Mr. Stefarri across the street, who seems to be signaling interplanetary vehicles with his TV antenna. Things get worse when older sister Suzy (13 3/4) gets drunk with her boyfriend on their parents' night out; but life starts picking up when friendless Albert meets a girl who is into astrology and who agrees to help him trap Stefarri, though she really doesn't believe a word of Albert's fantasy. When his school report on the subject wins a teacher's Jules Verne Award for science fiction, the family is proud and everything falls into place for Albert. Meanwhile Havis makes Mr. Stefarri (an immigrant) anti-Semitic, but fails to make a scary scene of his encounter with a snooping Albert; and overall both Havis' writing and the story's structure could do with some shaping up. However, Havis' sympathy for oddball Albert's daydreams and behavior, and Albert's own wry view of school and family, are probably enough to justify the minimal effort the reading requires.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Harper & Row