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Reviewed by Nadine Molloy, Library Assistant, Remarkables Primary School, Queenstown, Otago
Opening sentence
In the 1960s the world was gripped by the space race. This was a time when the two superpowers of America and Russia battled to be first.
It has been a while since I've read a David Walliams book as my daughter is now too old and they require no promotion in the library as they 'sell themselves'. Due to the popularity of the author, I had high expectations.

As stated at the beginning of the book, this adventure story is set in America in the 1960s. The inspiration is the battle between the Russians and the Americans to be the first to achieve various space conquests. It was only after finishing the novel that I realised there was a space race timeline in the back, detailing ten key dates along with brief details. This, along with the fictional story, may encourage children to delve into history further to discover more for themselves.

I was surprised by the description of the president as it was so obviously Donald Trump, despite him not being the president at the time the story was set. I wonder if this was done so that children could readily relate to him. The term BFF was used too, which was not in use in the 1960s.

Humour is always a key feature of David Walliams' books, but I did not laugh as much as anticipated. Maybe I am too old but younger readers will find it more amusing.

The visually appealing text with words and phrases in different fonts is likely to appeal to reluctant readers, along with chapters of an achievable length. For those who like comic format, this features several times throughout along with numerous other (often humorous) illustrations which match the story perfectly. There are even some which are labelled to provide more detail.

For children wanting a book that is not too demanding, yet full of action, this may just be it. Throw into the mix an adorable dog, his courageous girl owner and a spaceboy and the book is bound to be enjoyed by numerous readers.
Author & Illustrator: Author: David Walliams Illustrator: Adam Stower
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
ISBN: 9780008579944
Format: Paperback
Publication: 2022
Ages: 7+
Themes: Space travel, the Space Race, adventure