The Secrets of Star Whales

Rebecca Thorne. Jolly Fish, $11.99 paper (228p) ISBN 978-1-63163-441-3
On the “small and isolated” Azura space station, 12-year-old Maxion “Max” Belmont, still haunted by his father’s death in The Accident two years ago, wants to follow in his dad’s footsteps as both engineer and musician in order to remain connected. Then Milo Hames arrives at Azura, “the has-been [asteroid] mining hub of the Fifth Star System,” and becomes the new teacher of the station’s seven 12-year-olds. Reluctant teacher Hames, under pressure from a mysterious deadline, coopts Max’s class into helping him repair and crew his spaceship, in order to seek out the reclusive star whales nearby. But in discovering the secret of finding the whales, Max realizes he has another chance to learn more about his father—which brings unwanted attention to his home and could spell disaster for everyone. With this heartfelt debut, Thorne explores lingering grief through Max and his mother, and how that anguish affects relationships with friends and peers. An engaging speculative fiction premise allows Thorne to simultaneously embrace a sense of wonder and discovery, imbuing this poignant story with optimism and healing. Ages 8–13. Agent: Kaitlyn Johnson, Belcastro Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/09/2021
Release date: 03/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-63163-442-0
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