Science fiction is a powerful genre. It allows our minds to travel into the unknown - exploring the things we think or believe may one day be possible through science. While we are there, we can contemplate philosophical and moral issues from our own day, but from the safety of a future "what if" scenario. Back in my very early blogging days (2012 seems like a lifetime ago, right?), I posted about the power of "what if" and science fiction. There are not nearly as many science fiction books published for middle grade readers as there should be!I've loved every book I've read by John David Anderson, so when I heard that he was putting out the first book in a science fiction duology for middle grade readers, I jumped at the chance to read an ARC and share my thoughts about the book.
Here is the publisher's summary:
The beloved author of Posted and Ms. Bixby's Last Day returns with the first book in a coming-of-age sci-fi duology about Leo, a kid trying to navigate the galaxy in order to save his family—and, possibly, the planet Earth.
When scientists discover a rare and mysterious mineral buried in the Earth’s crust, they have no idea that it just happens to be the most valuable substance in the entire universe. It’s not long before aliens show up to our little corner of the galaxy offering a promise of protection, some fabulous new technology, and entry into their intergalactic coalition—all in exchange for this precious resource. A material so precious that other alien forces are willing to start a war over it. A war that soon makes its way to Earth.
Leo knows this all too well. His mother was killed in one such attack, and soon after, his father, a Coalition scientist, decides it would be best for them to leave Earth behind. It’s on this expedition that their ship is attacked, Leo’s father is kidnapped, and Leo and his brother are stranded in the middle of space. The only chance they have is for Leo to stow away on a strange ship of mercenary space pirates bound for who knows where and beg the captain to help him find his father.
But the road is dangerous, and pirates, of course, only look out for themselves. Leo must decide who to trust as he tries to stay alive and save his family, even as he comes to understand that there aren’t many people—human or alien—that he can count on in this brave new universe.
One Last Shot
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