Parents' Guide to

Spaced Out: Moon Base Alpha, Book 2

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Science-packed mystery set on moon explores human nature.

Book Stuart Gibbs Mystery 2016
Spaced Out: Moon Base Alpha, Book 2 Poster Image

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Kids say (4):

Smart science and engaging characters -- both kid and adult -- make this an enjoyable stand-alone mystery, though it's a weak bridge to the next installment in the series. SPACED OUT suffers from middle-book syndrome: It echoes the themes and issues of Book 1 but does little to advance the overall story arc. Dash's telepathic friend Zan pops up sporadically with vague hints of looming danger, but the device feels disjointed right through to the tacked-on cliffhanger ending. The plot line involving the campily snobby Sjoberg family is a limp red herring that detracts from an otherwise solid story.

Author Stuart Gibbs uses the mystery of the missing commander to show how people can be both wonderful and disappointing. His key characters are brilliant and often brave, but they have a hard time getting along, coping with domestic stress, dealing with prickly people, and abiding by rules. They second-guess themselves and make dumb decisions -- and they accept the consequences of their actions. Newcomers to the series will have no trouble jumping in at this point. The next book promises some high-stakes drama involving climate change that's sure to resonate with kids.

Book Details

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