A Helium-3 miner named Crater makes a treacherous journey through space to find a mysterious and priceless treasure.
It's the 22nd Century and a tough, pioneering people are mining the moon
to produce energy for a desperate, war torn Earth. Crater Trueblood, an
orphan, loves his life in Moontown, a frontier mining settlement. Just turned sixteen, Crater is already a seasoned Helium 3 miner, hoping someday to be a foreman on the scrapes. But "the Colonel," the man who owns the mine, has a different plan for Crater which includes Maria, the Colonel's daring young granddaughter. Crater, accompanied by Maria and his gillie--a sentient and sometimes insubordinate clump of slime mold cells--must shepherd a convoy of Helium 3 trucks across a forbidding river of dust while also looking for a mysterious, historical artifact that could mean the difference between life and death for every inhabitant on the moon.
I had read Homer Hickam's Rocket Boys and seen the movie October Sky that had been based upon the book and really enjoyed them. Add to that the fact that he is from the state I now live (and where my parents are from) and I just couldn't pass up the chance to review this sci-fy, young adult foray of his.
Now don't let the description fool you, this isn't a book on mining on the moon. It is about relationships, doing what is right, overcoming obstacles, coming of age and it is good! Just as with Rocket Boys the characters in this novel feel real. Despite being set on the moon, the situations feel real. You can relate to Crater as he encounters situations with friends that cause him to question who he really is and who they really are. You find yourself encouraging him to make the right choice, to overcome his self doubt, to go for the girl. You just can't help but like him!
Being the first in a series there are several questions left unanswered by the end of the book, but you aren't left feeling like you were gypped by the ending. I know I can't wait for the next installment. I found that I would be comfortable allowing my middle school children to read this and in fact I have encouraged them to do so. Perhaps they will pick up some of Crater's "do the right thing" mentality even when the right thing isn't always the easy thing.
So two thumbs up for this title!
Order Crater online
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