Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Audio : Audio Book


Spring 2015 Audio Book
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
CD Price: $29.99

For decades, both scientists and science fiction writers have dreamed what it would be like to start a colony on the moon or on another planet. Stuart Gibbs' latest novel adds another unique voice-that of a preteen boy- to the mix in Space Case. Young Dash Gibson lives with his scientist parents and assorted other specially recruited people on Moon Base Alpha, or MBA, "the first human outpost in space." The story is set in 2040, but despite the futuristic setting there are elements of life not dissimilar to earlier colonial times on earth-isolation, restricted freedoms, lack of resources, sanitation issues (chapter one is called "Evil Plumbing"), danger, and fear of the unknown. Being a Gibbs novel, there is also a signature mixture of humor and mystery, as in his earlier hit Belly Up. The chapters alternate between the story (Dash tries to find out who killed genius scientist Dr. Holtz) and "Excerpts from the Official Residence Guide to Moon Base Alpha." These excerpts, written for the colonists by NASA, are vaguely sinister in their cheeriness ("It should be noted the residents of MBA have been carefully chosen for friendliness and compatibility, and thus, there ought to be a minimum of conflict!"), and make a nice counterpoint to the events of the story. Actor Gibson Frazier has a deep, rich voice well suited to narration. This is an entertaining story for Gibbs fans, and those interested in space or suspense.

Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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Simon & Schuster Audio

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