|Stowaway (Icarus chronicles)|
Author: Anderson, John David
When scientists discover a rare and mysterious mineral buried in the Earth's crust, they have no idea that it just happens to be the most valuable substance in the entire universe. It's not long before aliens show up to fight a war over it. When Leo's mother is killed in an alien attack and his father is kidnapped after they escape from Earth, Leo and his brother are stranded in the middle of space. He must decide who to trust as he tries to stay alive and save his family.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 513073
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/21)
School Library Journal (08/01/21)
Booklist (+) (08/01/21)
The Hornbook (00/11/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2021 *Starred Review* It wasn't long after the discovery of ventasium on Earth that humans learned they were not alone. Soon the Aykari arrived, warning them that they were now the richest planet but that this would bring others to their world in search of the material. Now, Leo Fender and his brother, Gareth, are on board the spaceship Beagle with their scientist father, Dr. Calvin Fender. When the Beagle is attacked by Djarik—reptilian beings and enemies of the Aykari—Dr. Fender is taken, leaving Leo and Gareth behind with the ship's crew. When Gareth tricks Leo into boarding a pirate spaceship in order to save him, Leo finds himself completely alone. As Leo learns more about the pirates and beings on board (fellow humans Bastian and Kat, the Queleti Boo, and snarky robot Skits) and about the vast universe they are now traveling together, he begins to realize that the Coalition of Planets, headed by the Aykari, may not be all it seems. Flashbacks fill readers in on how Leo and his family came to join the Beagle spaceship, as well as the course of events that brought the Aykari to Earth and that took away Leo's mother. The Mandalorian meets Guardians of the Galaxy in this fast-paced space adventure that will have readers turning the pages as they are pulled into a unique yet strangely familiar world that reflects our own. This series opener is an ideal pick for middle-grade sci-fi fans. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2021 Gr 5 Up—Anderson's latest novel gives middle grade readers a futuristic coming-of-age space odyssey. After tragedy strikes, Leo and his family venture into the somewhat unknown, moving into a spacecraft run by the Coalition. Leo's father, Dr. Fender, is an important scientist trying to make discoveries and hopefully bring peace to the universe. But when Dr. Fender is taken by the enemy, Leo finds himself locked on board with a scrappy band of pirates. On a mission to reunite with his family, Leo discovers that the universe isn't full of simply good and bad people, but beings who, like him, are just trying to survive. Throughout the novel, Leo's experiences with grief, fear, and moments of understanding make him relatable even while in space. This novel not only provides an otherworldly adventure, but a sincere tale about dealing with loss, finding bravery, and navigating the complexity of war. While this would make for a great read-aloud, there are darker moments and some action-based violence that will not be for every reader. VERDICT A page-turning space adventure that deals with complex issues. Middle graders who like "Star Wars," Yoon Ha Lee's Dragon Pearl, and Stuart Gibbs's "Moon Base Alpha" series may also enjoy. —Hilary Tufo, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Reynoldsburg, OH - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.