Every young boy gets to an age when his father is just an embarrassment, behaving like something from another planet. But what if your father really is from another galaxy? Wouldn’t that be a great excuse for turning green and really showing you up in front of your friends? This entertaining book cleverly combines science with humour to persuade us that there is life out there among the stars.
Unbeknown to Jake, his father Ion landed on Earth by accident, thinking that David Bowie’s song Star Man was a distress call and thus defying the Cosmic Authority who were determined to find and punish him. Jake’s mother, a paramedic, saved his life, they fell in love and married and Ion tried hard to learn about life on Earth, but made mistakes which embarrassed Jake. When Ion took Jake on an outdoor pursuits weekend to tell him the truth about his origins the Cosmic Authority tracked him down and took him to their ship. With the help of his two friends Amba and Damon, Jake decided to rescue his father.
The narrative speed is whizz bang and of all the marvellous creatures which Jake meets the Gezhundhai are the most entertaining, since they communicate by smells and spatter slime whenever they speak. However, the story is more than just a rollicking adventure. It is a reminder that under our skins-whatever they are made of-we are all the same. It is also a powerful reminder that the way we express ourselves-through music, art, philosophy or smells, we have a common connection.
With its striking cover and its ambitious intentions, Space Oddity would make a first-rate addiition to a school library-or a child’s bookshelf.