David Bowie is an absolute hero of mine so imagine how I felt when I learned that one of my favourite children's authors had written a book called 'Space Oddity'! And it has exceeded my expectations. Christopher Edge, from an original idea by Sarah Ryan, has dazzled me again. 'Space Oddity' is pure stardust: fun, humorous, heartfelt and full of ideas that strike you like bright orange lightning. Bowie would have grinned reading this.
Jake's dad manages to do things other dads can't. Weird things. Embarrassing things. Seemingly impossible things. But why? It's all a bit much for Jake and he's had enough. But when his dad takes him for a camping weekend to reconnect, Jake learns the truth. A startling truth. A truth that will answer one of the biggest questions of them all... are we really alone in the universe?
I really, really enjoyed this. It's very different to Christopher Edge's previous books, like 'The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day' or 'The Longest Night of Charlie Noon' but nonetheless just as fantastic. There is still an exploration of big ideas and science, but in a light-hearted and fun fashion. There are hilarious jokes, pop culture references to David Bowie, Star Wars, Doctor Who... what more could you want? Well, heart. Because, in spite of a story filled with UFOs, stinking aliens and killer robots, there's huge warmth in the absurdity and excitement of it all too. This is a story about fathers and sons - how we connect to each other, understand one another, and find our place in a universe without feeling alone. Like Bowie himself: underneath the strangeness there is warmth, generosity of spirit, a sense of family.
Jake has a brilliantly playful voice, perhaps more loose and comic than other character voices Edge has presented us with. Jake's dad is hilarious too, managing to be the 'every-dad' and really weird at the same time. It's their relationship that makes this such a great read, with Ben Mantle's illustrations perfectly complimenting.
Ground Control to Major Tom... Can you hear this? 'Space Oddity' is a wonderful book to lift your spirits into the stratosphere, especially if you're sitting in a tin can.