|Space case (Moon Base Alpha)|
Author: Gibbs, Stuart
Dashiell Gibson, who lives on Moon Base Alpha, has to solve a murder of one of the moon's most prominent doctors.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 168789
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 63788
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/15/14)
School Library Journal (07/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2014 Here’s a whodunit set on the moon. The sudden, mysterious death of Moon Base Alpha’s physician threatens the entire underfunded lunar-colonization program. Worse, though the base commander and her NASA superiors insist it was an accident, an overheard conversation leads 12-year-old Dashiell to suspect that it was nothing of the sort. Shrugging off hostility from the powers that be and even an anonymous threat, he enlists the aid of a pair of tech-savvy peers and—encouraged by an oddly elusive new arrival—goes digging. Gibbs stocks the cast with multiple suspects and red herrings, suggestive (if sometimes contrived) clues, hints of secret agendas, and unexpected encounters. Ultimately, the investigation culminates in a suspenseful murder attempt out on the lunar surface, followed by a game-changing revelation. Though relatively standard issue as murder mysteries go, this is notable for its unusual setting and features a narrator who displays a realistic mix of wonder at his location and annoyance at having to deal with the Spartan life on another planet. The exposed killer’s rationale actually has merit, too. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2014 Gr 4–6—It's 2041, and 12-year-old Dash Gibson lives with his family in Moon Base Alpha, the first lunar outpost. Life is mostly dull (watching TV, going to the gym to keep fit, and playing video games—not much variety) until Ronald Holtz, beloved base physician, dies under suspicious circumstances. Despite warnings from the base's autocratic commander, Dash continues to investigate the incident as a possible murder. The story is fun, if somewhat thin; a space-age Agatha Christie mystery grafted onto a Scooby Doo plot. There are multiple suspects, each with a seemingly plausible motive—the scientist who accuses Dr. Holtz of stealing his brilliant idea; the shoddy psychiatrist whom Holtz tried to keep off of the mission; even Lars Sjoberg, the hapless and arrogant billionaire space tourist. Some of the characters are colored with a broad brush, such as Kira the tween-age super hacker; the vile, "pure white" Sjoberg family; and Chang Hi-Tech, the tattooed and mohawked tech guru. But Gibbs's passion for science is obvious, and his portrayal of what life might be like for a middle schooler in space is credible and insightful. The difficulty of learning to run in reduced gravity, the dreary food, ubiquitous technologies, and recycled water (urine is purified and returned to the reservoir) all are treated evenhandedly and with reference to relevant science. The prospect and related concerns of contact with a distant race of super-intelligent beings provide an intriguing "what if" counterpoint. Recommended as a breezy read, especially for the budding space scientist.—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.