This action-packed middle grade story takes place nearly three hundred years in the future, where Captain William Marsh leads the Starship Polaris across the vast reaches of the universe. Accompanied by his adopted daughters Robin and Diane, the three have no shortage of adventures, especially thanks to the girls’ mischievous personalities. When the girls are kidnapped by a nefarious interstellar traveler, it will require luck, ingenuity, and teamwork to bring them home again. I flew through this story and loved the many flashbacks that connect readers to important events in the family’s past. Please see my full review here.
Sisters Diane and Robin are off on another adventure with their father, Captain William Marsh. This time, they are visiting a planet called Lasusia, where a deadly virus has taken hold. Robin and Diane have been tasked with supporting the future leader until a cure can be found, but this responsibility does not reduce their propensity for mischief. Like normal, the sisters find themselves making choices that get them into trouble, but this time, their decisions take them farther from safety than they have ever been before.
This second installment of The Captain’s Daughters series takes place approximately one year after the first book ends. Though there are reminders of events from the first novel woven into the text, readers would do best to have read that book in order to fully understand this one. Robin and Diane are becoming teenagers, and their emotions are as strong as one might expect from youth in that stage of their lives. At the same time, Captain Marsh is becoming close to a fellow crew mate, and the girls are feeling betrayed and abandoned because of his growing affection for another woman. While the primary perspective of the novel is that of Diane and Robin, other characters’ experiences are included, as well, which gives readers some insight into more than one side of each challenge.
Fans of human-centered science fiction novels will find Diane and Robin to be approachable and comfortable, especially for a middle grade audience. The narrative incorporates perspectives of older characters, which enhances young readers’ understanding not only of the plot but also helps them better relate to the adults in their own lives. Through this series, readers observe that even in a time when space travel is second nature, humans experience universally recognizable feelings and life is never perfect. However, through love, respect, and trust, characters learn from their mistakes and move forward in a positive direction together. This is a wholesome and accessible addition to middle grade library collections.
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