Set in the far distant future, this science fiction tale is about a civilization on a planet similar to ours. It is part of an alliance of other planets that have agreed not to colonize or to enslave senescent being of other planets. Aden Pendar is a young lieutenant whose job it is to undertake a top secret mission to find a star ship called Dragon of the Stars. This ship was developed by scientists on his planet, but on its maiden voyage, the man who had developed it took off with it. It supposedly has the ability to destroy any other starship, and other members of the Alliance are determined to keep it from being found. Aden eventually finds the ship after several close calls with Alliance ships. But what he finds out about the ship and its inventor will leave the reader stunned. When I first began reading this book, I had trouble getting into it because of all the military and space jargon, I even began to wonder if it were worth my time to read it all. Then, all of a sudden – there it was – a turning point that I had not expected and from that point on I couldn’t put it down. Readers of science fiction will definitely enjoy. I would recommend it for readers in 7th grade and up.
Zach is injured when Amp, the alien he is hiding, borrows the brake cable from his bike. Amp used it to work on a machine he needs to get back to his home planet. While he is incapacitated at home, Zach has to figure out how to do his homework, how to help Amp get back to his home planet and stop the invasion of Earth, and how to keep his nosy little brother from finding out about Amp.
This is a funny, fast-paced little book for grades three through five. Nate Ball, a mechanical engineer, introduces the reader to several science concepts and vocabulary that supports the concepts he has introduced. He has also, at the end of the book, included an experiment on building an egg decelerator. The information is easy-to-read and should be fun for any student interested in science
The reader is also given a preview of the next book in the series following the experiment. This preview will cause young readers to beg for the next book in the series. I would recommend the purchase of On Impact! for any elementary library.
The reader or teacher can also find Common Core resources for this book at http://www.readcommoncore.com .
I don’t have a picture for this book because I read a “prepub” edition, but I think it deserves to be looked at when it is published. Here is the review I sent to the publisher:
Alexander has given us a whole new way of looking at aliens – both human and non-human. Gabe is an ordinary boy who thinks his summer will be the usual thing of playing with his friends and helping his parents care for his twin siblings. His world is turned upside down when an alien named the Envoy invites him to be Earth’s ambassador to the Universe and thus to save the Earth. This excites Gabe, yet he doesn’t understand how he, as a boy, can help save the world.
At the same time, his parents are arrested because they are illegal aliens and his parents are in danger of being deported. A neighbor offers to take care of Gabe and the twins because they are American citizens. His older sister has gone into hiding because she, also, is an illegal alien. Gabe had no idea that his parents were not American citizens, and he also has no idea how to save his family.
As an ambassador, Gabe learns about conflict resolution, about talking of similarities of the inhabitants of the universe, and about trying to solve problems rather than fighting. He still doesn’t know what he can do to save his family, but he knows that anger will not solve his problems.
This is an excellent book to help younger readers see that they are not alone with their conflicts. It may help readers learn methods of communication, which are so very necessary in our world. It would appear that there may be more stories of Gabe, the ambassador to come. If that is true, I trust they will continue along the same line. I recommend this book for the elementary library. The publisher is Simon and Schuster.