Space Oddity

Authored by Christopher Edge
Illustrated by Ben Mantle
Published by Chicken House

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Space Oddity is a really great adventure story, that focusses on the relationship between a parent and their child and explores the idea of space and whether we are alone in the universe.

Imagine if you had never heard a song before? Imagine you were an alien who followed a distress call and ended up stranded on a planet which was in a cosmic zone of exclusion…what would you do?

Jake has always thought his Dad was a bit embarrassing, joining in at the school concert, turning green on his first day at Junior school, and now taking him to Middlewich Forest for a Dads and Kids’ Adventure Weekend. Jake’s Dad has something important that he wants to tell his son about what happened in that very forest 12 years before. But before he can a mishap with a stone called the Quintessence leads to more revelations that Jake could imagine…some of which are out of this world! As a result of Jake’s actions Dad is taken away. Can Jake and his friends work out how to save Dad and what does it all mean for Jake? Also how does a David Bowie song link the past and the future for the whole of Jake’s family?

This book would be a great read aloud for a class looking at space or wanting to explore relationships, part of a class pack or just an on the class bookshelf and I would recommend for KS2. It references lots of popular science fiction such as Star Wars. As a pre-reading activity I would recommend listening to Ground Control to Major Tom from Space Oddity by David Bowie as it plays such a pivotal part in the story.

Christopher Edge talks to Nikki Gamble about this title In the Reading Corner.


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