Space Case

by Stuart Gibbs

In 2040, twelve-year-old Dash is one of twenty-two residents of Moon Base Alpha,... read more

In 2040, twelve-year-old Dash is one of twenty-two residents of Moon Base Alpha, the first moon colony. Most of them are scientists or technicians, like Dash’s parents, although NASA is relying on space tourism to help pay the bills. Hence the obnoxious Norwegian family of four, unable to comprehend that wealth can’t buy what there isn’t room to bring along. When the mission’s revered medical doctor dies on a solo, unplanned, early morning moonwalk not long after Dash overheard him excitedly talking about a new discovery, the base commander is among those unwilling to believe Dash’s suspicion of murder. Then a supply rocket arrives with security officer Zan Perfonic. She secretly asks Dash to investigate, and he enlists the help of new arrival Kira. While the mystery fuels the plot, it’s almost secondary to the fun of exploring Stuart Gibbs’s imagined future: Sure, Dash and his fellow residents may be pioneers, and Kira helps Dash remember the thrill in that, but there’s no glamor in life on the moon, even though NASA’s PR department would have everyone on earth think otherwise. There is great gender equity, however, and the equality of men and women, as well as the multiracial reality of life in 2040 (the Norwegians are unusual for being white) are among the things it’s wonderful to see taken as typical twenty-five years from now. (Ages 8–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

show less