Young Reader Review: My Year as a Space Cadet
My Year as a Space Cadet
Author: Hope Dalvay
After her successful summer as a babysitter/camp counsellor, Page is now ready to face her next adventure … in SPACE (sort of!). Shale Pit Academy of Creativity & Excellence (not-so-affectionately known as SPACE) is the new school she will be attending as she spends her first full year on PEI.
It is an action-packed year for sure as she learns to skate and attends her first semi-formal dance, repeatedly demonstrates her ineptitude at sports, earns the nickname of “Hulk” for her eyecatching green snowsuit, tries to solve her Secret Santa mystery and becomes the reluctant captain of her class’s trivia team. As she muddles her way through these and other events, she manages to make new friends, learn a few things about herself and accomplish a major victory: changing the name of the school.
Page’s exploits in this followup to Welcome to Camp Fill In the Blank are fun-filled and highly entertaining. As she comes to terms with the fact that she is “not cool,” she gamely rises to each new challenge (and experiences more success with some than others).
Author Hope Dalvay depicts junior high in a small town with humour and authenticity, and has filled her book with a delightful assortment of characters. Page is a quirky and goodnatured protagonist who is also adapting to her first Canadian winter (hence the snowsuit) along with the usual uncertainties associated with being the “new kid,” especially in a community where it seems like everyone knows everyone else.
Page’s relationship with her young cousins is delightful and whether or not readers have read the previous book, they will enjoy this witty and warmhearted tale.
Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.