Remedial Space Car Driving School! Remedial! Jake thought. Why didn’t Mum and Dad just put a big sticker on my forehead that said ‘Universe’s Biggest Loser’? He scrunched the letter up in an angry fist and threw it back at his parents – except the letter stuck fast to his fingers. He tried to shake it off but the paper just seemed to hold tighter to his skin.
‘It’s Slooper Goo. We thought you might react this way ,’ Mum said, shrugging.
‘There’s no getting out of it,’ Dad added. ‘You have to get that licence.’
Jake is mortified. His parents have signed him up for remedial driving lessons. Everyone at school will know. But he’s tried every driving instructor on Earth and now he’s about to start on the moon. The instructor, Gradock, is so confident that all his students will graduate with their licences, he offers a money-back guarantee. But all is not well on the moon and before long Jake can tell that something dodgy is going on. As his course progresses, he is determined to not only pass, but to solve the mystery. ‘Moon Attack’ isa sturdy blue and silver covered paperback with illustrations beginning each chapter and a border along the bottom of each page.
Moon Attack is the first of three ‘Jake in Space’ titles slated for 2014 release. Moon Attack introduces the reader to a futuristic universe where it’s entirely feasible to do your driving training on the moon. And it’s accepted that you should be driving to school long before you are eleven (as Jake is). Adventures unlimited by gravity – what’s not to like? Throw in a mystery to solve and ‘Moon Attack’ shows that there is fun to be had on the moon in space cars, both inside and outside the space centre. There’s a nod to examination anxiety which it seems has contributed to Jake’s previous licence failures, but it’s not laboured. Moon Attack will appeal to confident young readers and to older readers not yet ready to progress to longer novels. Recommended for lower- to mid-primary readers and beyond.
Jake in Space: Moon Attack , Candice Lemon-Scott New Frontier Publishing 2014 ISBN: 9781925059090
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller