One Giant Leap

One Giant Leap
Publisher Name
Crescent Vista Press
Age Range
Release Date
February 21, 2023
I’m pretty sure I’m about to die in space. And I just turned twelve and a half.
Blast off with the four winners of the StellarKid Project on a trip to the International Space Station and then to the Gateway outpost orbiting the Moon! It’s a dream come true until space junk collides with the ISS, turning their epic trip into a nightmare of survival. Alone aboard the Aether starship, the kids have to work as a team to save the adults before the ISS is destroyed. Suit up, cadet, and launch into adventure with One Giant Leap!

Editor review

1 review
Disaster in space
(Updated: December 25, 2022)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The plot moves quickly as four young contest winners complete their training to venture into space. The opening pages tease about a catastrophe at the International Space Station allowing readers to anxiously anticipate when it will become part of the plot. The excerpt in the book’s synopsis comes from the opening scene. Complications enter the story as a mysterious someone begins trying to sabotage the mission by tampering with the training of the four young astronauts. Malfunctioning machines and computers that have been modified create dangerous situations for the kids. One person is identified as the primary suspect but is this person too obvious? The first half of the book finds all kinds of twists thrown at the characters to make the mission more tenuous.
The author includes information about space travel throughout the story. The end of the book has a fact versus fiction section that addresses material in the story and a glossary is provided to explain the terms used. The four kids learn to deal with G forces in a gyroscope machine and practice docking with the ISS in a flight simulator. The actual blast-off shares details about the process and the author enhances the experience using sensory descriptions. The roaring of the rockets and being crushed into the seat by gravity will help readers experience what astronauts might feel. The outside temperature varies by five hundred degrees as the orbiting spaceship enters and leaves the sun’s light. Upon their arrival, the kids get a quick tour and description of the ISS before the plot goes haywire.
Additional issues become part of the story as Fin and his new astronaut friends deal with stress from different sources. Fin’s mother had an accident of some kind and the author chooses to keep details of it unclear for a time. Fin goes back and forth about enjoying the mission into space and then feels guilty that he’s happy he’s not at home. Fin is wearing a space safety pack that he invented so it’s not a stretch to imagine it will become a major part of the story at some point. One girl is pretty quiet and hesitant during training and an air of mystery begins to surround her when the spaceship arrives at the ISS. The author provides hints when the Russian part of the ISS is mentioned so readers will begin to wonder what will come of it. The question of sabotage isn’t forgotten as the kids venture into space so it provides another layer of suspense when combined with everything else.
What didn’t work as well:
There are some parts of the plot where factual information takes over and stands out more than it should. However, most of the time, the history and details of space travel are woven seamlessly into the events. It makes sense to share specifics of lift-off, the ISS, and spacewalking as these happenings occur in the plot.
The Final Verdict:
This book should appeal to lovers of science and space as visiting the ISS is all about those two things. The plot includes many suspenseful, action-packed scenes, especially in the first two-thirds of the book. Overall, I recommend you give this book a shot.
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