‘Nicola! Phone call!’
Nicola Berry was startled. Who would be calling her here at this time of night? ‘For me? Really?’
It was past midnight and she was at her great-grandmother’s one-hundredth birthday party. The music was thumping, and Nicola and her cousins were all hiding yawns behind their hands as they danced in a circle around their tiny, white-haired Grammy, who was tapping her feet and jiggling her hips, leaning on a walking stick in each hand. Grammy was the oldest one at the party, but she seemed to have the most energy. The littler cousins were asleep, curled up in corners. Even Nicola’s dad had collapsed on a sofa, his head tipped back, twitching violently each time he snored.
‘She said it’s Shimlara,’ yelled Nicola’s crazy Aunt Annie…
Nicola Berry is the leader of the Space Brigade. For most of the time, she and her friends are normal children doing normal earth things, but when the call comes, they board their ‘Mini Easy-ride Spaceship’ and head into the skies. This time, their friend Shimlara is calling because she fears her brother and parents have been kidnapped. They stop at Globagaskar to collect Shimlara where they learn that the kidnappers are from the Planet Volcomania. They have declared war on the beautiful Planet of Whimsy and that’s where Shimlara’s family are. The Planet of Whimsy is a beautiful place, peopled by artists and poets. The Space Brigade’s mission is to rescue Shimlara’s family, but they also become involved in helping fight a war.
The Wicked War on the Planet of Whimsy follows two other off world adventures. Each member of the Space Brigade has a role to play. Nicola, leader, often doubts her ability to lead, as does grating Greta. Tyler is their tech guy, Katie is the nice one. Sean is Nicola’s older brother and Shimlara can read minds. Individually they all have their strengths and weaknesses but together they form a formidable team. They are fast becoming known through the solar system. It’s not necessary to have read earlier stories, although there are references to previous adventures. This adventure takes place across three planets, with several others mentioned. The characters may look different, but the personalities are universal. This Space Brigade adventure is action-packed and wildly imaginative. Recommended for mid- to upper-primary readers.
The Wicked War on the Planet of Whimsy (Space Brigade), L. M. Moriarty
Pan Macmillan 2009
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