I heard Christopher Edge speak at the Hay Festival this summer. He was talking about 'The Many Worlds of Albie Bright', a book which I was really impressed with. It's very cleverly constructed with lots of 'science stuff' intertwined in a story about love, loss and coping with grief.
So, it was with high expectations that I approached his new novel, 'The Jamie Drake Equation'.
Dad's the star in our family's solar system because he's an astronaut.
Once again, this is a book with plenty of science facts brilliantly woven into the fabric of the story. Having just completed work on space with my class, it was great to see so many of the things we had discovered referred to in the course of the story. But I also learned a lot...The Standard Model of Particle Physics and The Drake Equation, for example!
An astronomer called Frank Drake came up with a sum to work out how many intelligent alien civilisations there might be in the Milky Way. We call this sum the 'Drake Equation'.
Family is once again at the heart of this story and Jamie has to cope, not only with his father being on the International Space Station and having to share him with the rest of the world, but also with other family issues (I won't spoil it by saying what they are!). Christopher Edge has created a very convincing family- I love Granddad Neil, ex-member of rock band, 'Death Panda'!
Above all, however, 'The Jamie Drake Equation' is an exciting, adventure story. Will Jamie be able to save his dad when things go wrong? Will he be able to save his new, mysterious friends? Will he be able to save his family?
'The Jamie Drake Equation' is one of those great books that offers a humorous, intelligent, warm and gripping read. I can't wait to get it into the hands of children in my class. Next time I teach 'Space', this will be my class book- but I won't be able to wait until then to share it!
The Jame Drake Equation by Christopher Edge.
Cover/ chapter opener illustrations by Matt Saunders. Inside illustrations by Spike Gerrell
Nosy Crow ISBN: 978-0857638403