Summary of The Nose from Jupiter: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Erica Schimmel

Erica has taught college English writing and literature courses and has a master's degree in children's literature.

Alan can't remember how he ended up in the hospital, so the alien living in his nose suggests he go through all his memories since the alien moved in. This lesson will summarize Alan's story and memories in 'The Nose from Jupiter'.


Have you ever said something and felt like it wasn't you saying it, but someone else inside you? For Alan Dingwall, that's probably the case. You see, Alan does have someone else inside him. An alien from Jupiter named Norbert is living in Alan's nose. According to Norbert, Alan's nose is a pretty nice place to stay; he says it has a ''Living room, bedroom, kitchen, back room. And a garage, of course. Very nice indeed.''

Alan has an alien named Norbert living in his nose.

Let's back up a little. Alan is the 13-year-old main character in The Nose from Jupiter by Richard Scrimger. Aside from having an alien in his nose, Alan's a pretty ordinary kid who's ''very pale... with bright red hair.'' He and his mom live in Cobourg in Ontario, Canada. Alan has trouble with math class, has a crush on Miranda but is too shy to tell her, and has a best friend named Victor. Of course, Alan does have problems. After his parents divorced, his father wound up in Vancouver and isn't in Alan's life as much as Alan would like. Alan's mom, a social worker, is so absorbed in her work that she doesn't pay much attention to Alan either. Oh, and did we mention he's got a bully problem at school?

When we first meet Alan, he's in the hospital with no memory of how he got there. He knows there was an accident where he fell into a river, but doesn't actually remember what happened. One of his doctors suggests he try to piece his memories together like a puzzle. Norbert suggests Alan start several weeks ago, when Norbert first moved into Alan's nose.

Up the Nose

Remember that bully problem? The group of bullies calls themselves the Cougars. The leader of this gang is Prudence, a short girl who never smiles.

The day Norbert arrives, Alan is feeling pretty down on himself for not standing up to those bullies. While he's mowing the yard that afternoon, a dog appears. Right around that time, Alan hears a buzzing noise. He tries to swat away what he thinks is a bee, only to trip over the dog. He's trying to breathe through the pain when he feels a pain - inside his nose! After blowing his nose he thinks he's gotten whatever it was out, but then he hears a squeaky voice say, ''Here we are at last.''

New Friend

Part of what convinces Alan that Norbert is real is he's not the only one who can hear Norbert. The problem is that when Norbert speaks, other people think it's Alan. Over the next few weeks, this leads to both good and bad things. On the plus side, Norbert tells Alan about his home on Jupiter, where they love drinking hot cocoa and listening to country music broadcast all the way from Earth. Norbert is pretty funny, and when his comments make others laugh, they like Alan more. This includes Miranda, who ends up admitting she likes Alan too, and they become a couple.

Norbert tells Alan about his home planet Jupiter.
Solar system

Sometimes, Norbert's smart comments get Alan in trouble. This is especially the case when it comes to the Cougars. Take the intramural soccer game, for instance. The bullies spend the entire game kicking or knocking Alan and his teammates down, sometimes causing real injury, like Miranda's fractured ankle. Norbert helps Alan win the game, but part of his strategy is trash-talking the Cougars. You can imagine how angry they are, both at losing and at Norbert's insults. They make it their mission to beat Alan up.

While the Cougars do end up cornering Alan in the bathroom, Norbert comes to the rescue again. After one of the bullies kicks Alan to the ground, Norbert breaks the bully's nose by pushing Alan's head into it. This saves Alan from getting more hurt that day, but it only adds fuel to the fire because the bullies, especially Prudence, are even more determined to get Alan. In fact, she's so angry she starts following Alan around.

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