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Space Case (Moon Base Alpha) Paperback – October 13, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3–7—The year is 2040. Dash, his sister, and their scientist parents are inaugural inhabitants of Moon Base Alpha (MBA), Earth's extraterrestrial colony. Housing only a few dozen people and governed by a strict commander, MBA is not exactly a barrel of laughs for a 12-year-old boy. However, when one of MBA's scientists dies suspiciously and a supply ship brings new residents (including a girl his age), life in space becomes much more intriguing. Though the story has many humorous moments—especially involving the insufferable wealthy space tourists—it also has some plausible science. Each chapter is preceded by a reading from "The Official Residents' Guide to Moon Base Alpha," NASA's part propaganda/part instruction manual, containing such riveting topics as "Exercise" and "Food." Narrator Gibson Frazier keeps the story moving at a good pace, conveying suspense without melodrama. Rather than create pitched character voices, he relies on intonation to differentiate among the large cast. His own voice is deep and clear but boyish enough to suit Dash. The narration flows smoothly, broken only by the humorously intended commercial quality of the "Official Resident's Guide." Space Case should appeal to a broad range of listeners but especially space enthusiasts.—Lisa Taylor, Ocean County Library, NJ --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
*STARRED REVIEW* The whodunit is smartly paced and intricately plotted. Best of all, the reveal is actually worth all the buildup. Thrillers too often fly off the rails in their final moments, but the author's steady hand keeps everything here on track. Fully absorbing." (Kirkus Reviews)
"This zany sci-fi/adventure/murder mystery won't sit around gathering moondust, especially with such an eye-catching cover!; highly recommended for your middle-grade mystery collection." (Jill Barton, MLIS, Collection Development Ingram's Children's Advance)
"Recommended as a breezy read, especially for the budding space scientist." (School Library Journal)
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Top customer reviews
It's also nice to see a book where the protagonists aren't just white by default. Gibbs sets this book a few decades in the future and makes it clear that racial boundaries have blurred. Because of this, you don't just *assume* that everyone in the text is white--an important lesson for my white son and a fantastic point of representation for kids who may not see themselves present in far too many things.
The prose itself is appropriate for kids to read, but also fun if you're going to read to them. If, like me, you try to entertain your children with the range of ridiculous voices you can produce while reading to them, this is also a winner--the high-pitched German computer system and the smarmily-written "Guide to Living on the Moon" excerpts at the end of each chapter leave a lot of room for range.
We've been very happy with this novel and will definitely buy more from Gibbs.