Monday, 7 December 2020

Journey to the Hopewell Star

Finished December 4
Journey to the Hopewell Star by Hannah D. State

This middle grade science fiction / fantasy novel got me hooked early. Samantha (Sam) Sanderson is just about to turn twelve as the story begins. She's been homeschooled, mostly by her grandfather, as her parents are physicists that work for the government. 
The time that Samantha lives in is our own, but more advanced in terms of technology and space travel. Her grandfather makes dinner using some type of technological device, but in more than just this opening scene situation, technology seems to not work as it should. 
Sam lives on a farm in Nova Scotia, but will be soon moving to town to start school as she's come to an age where she needs more in terms of education than her father can offer. When she goes out to the barn at the beginning of the book, she finds more that she expected, and begins a journey that takes her to other planets, our moon, and even into other people's experiences. This first visit takes her to the planet Kryg under false pretences, but she makes a friend and learns more about both that planet and her own, including the precariousness of both the planets' futures. 
In town, Sam quickly makes friends with another girl and the group of friends that include her. Her friend Kato has a twin brother Kobe who seems to be on the autism spectrum. He doesn't talk a lot, but he seems to be noticing Sam. It makes her feel uncomfortable, but also curious. 
When Sam discovers a new skill, the first person that she shares it with is Kobe. And he connects with her in a big way. Their other friend Simon is a techie and provides insight into the technological side of any situation.
All of the kids are aware of the environmental threats that have been growing on earth, through their own experiences. As they begin to connect these threats to a local corporation and its owner, things may be coming to a crisis in other ways as well. 
I liked Sam's confidence in her abilities, and willingness to try new things, and her selflessness when it came to the larger community's needs. We see this in both small ways and large in her actions and thoughts. 
This book will give kids the confidence that their actions can make a difference in the world, and that kindness and connections are important. 
A really enjoyable read. 


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