Review Detail

Kids Fiction 220
School in Spaaaaace!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
There are human kids who are studying at the Earth School for Space Mission Preparation in the year 2216. They are considered for a space mission that the alien race of Tobeys is preparing. The Tobeys (who are clones, and all have the same name) are pleased with the way the humans have handled the technology introduced to the humans, and think they are ready for the next step. Of course, adults are quite right for the mission-- it has to be tweens because adults are "whiny" and would be annoying. Helped by Commander Gusevitch, the children undergo training that includes stints on "the vominator", manual dexterity challanges, and tests of how long they can stay in a cold environment. Petra and Jide are chosen, and soon they are on a mission to Mars with a Tobey. They do experiments in space, as one does, and eventually land on the red planet! They are met by the robot Kay, and spend some time at the base. They meet fellow explorers, who come from several different races and don't look like humans. The group eats space food, works on projects in the base, and travel on the surface, but dust storms soon make it imperative that they return to Earth. More of their adventures will be told in book two, A Total Waste of Space-Time.
Good Points
Brown has a great background in STEM related graphic novels, including several volumes of the Star Wars Jedi Academy series as well as Lucy and Neanderthal. He tends to include a lot of great scientific information, with lots of text in the comic style panels.

Petra and Jide's reactions to their surroundings are humorous, and the general tone of the books is snarky enough for older readers to find amusing, while still making sense to younger ones. Reads who like Graley's Glitch, Sanity and Tallulah, Ali-A's Adventures: Game On! or Kochalka's The Glorkian Warrior Eats Adventure Pie will find Once Upon a Space-Time a fun romp through the stratosphere.
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