Self-published by the author, 2020.
Space Kids, The Journey of Hope is a sci-fi adventure set in the near-future. It’s 2068 and the first space flight crewed entirely by children is about to launch. Sophie is the mission commander, Leena is the pilot. Then there’s mission scientist Sahil and Jack, the engineer. Their mission is to travel to never-before-visited planet K2-18b, outside Earth’s solar system. Accompanying them on their mission are a robot called Codey and a dog named Biggles.
The book puts STEM centre-stage and shows us children confidently applying their scientific and engineering knowledge to solve problems and save lives. I liked that there was a diverse crew and that a female was in charge; Sophie is calmly authoritative and knows how to get the best from her crew.
Their space adventure is exciting and full of peril and unforeseen problems. There are hyperdrive jumps across star systems, an emergency slingshot manoeuvre with a gas planet, exhilarating flights on the backs of dino-birds and a meteor to knock off course. The children break lots of new ground. They meet and befriend alien life, find a new planet which could sustain human life, and discover that humans are not alone in the universe.
Young readers will love seeing children being given so much power and responsibility, and will enjoy imagining themselves as part of the crew.
Suitable for children aged 8+
Thank you to Alan Nettleton for sending me a copy of this book to review.