The Space Brigade and the Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella by L M Moriarty

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The Space Brigade and the Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella by L M Moriarty

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A great space adventure with wonderful characters and very subtle messages about environmental responsibility and friendship comes highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: January 2009
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
ISBN: 978-1405243315

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Isn't that just the most wonderful title for a book that you've ever seen? Even better is the fact that the book lives up to the promise of the title and is a real gem.

Nicola Berry is sitting quietly in school one day, rather hoping that she is not going to be noticed by the teacher when a very tall man comes into the classroom. He's from the planet Globagaskar and he's searching for the Earthling Ambassador who's going to undertake a very risky mission to save Earth from a dreadful fate. On Globagaskar the King and Queen have gone on an extended holiday leaving their daughter, Princess Petronella in charge. The Princess is rather wilful and her latest idea is that she is going to turn Earth into a rubbish dump – and then move all the inhabitants of earth to another planet.

What follows is a rollicking good adventure story as Nicola and the Space Brigade embark on a mission to save Earth. They're a motley crew – elder brother Sean, who can be so annoying, Katie, who's kind and lovely, Greta, who definitely isn't and Tyler, a rather bright young man. They're joined by Shimlara, the daughter of the man who chose Nicola as the Earthling Ambassador and when an appeal to Princess Petronella's better nature (bad misjudgement that – she didn't have one) failed they had to take rather more desperate measures.

Liane Moriarty knows how to write and she definitely knows how to write for children. The language is simple and direct and the messages in there about environmental responsibility and friendship are delivered so subtly that you'll believe you thought of them yourself. There are characters to love and to hate – and a couple you might change your minds about as you get to know them a little better – and even adults who are not all perfect. Dads can be so annoying whichever planet you're on.

There are gadgets aplenty from the cooker which produces the food you're thinking about through to all sorts of space ships. The heroine might be a girl but this is a book which will appeal to everyone from round about nine years old.

Above all though, it's a really good story. The Earth setting is Australia but there's no sense that you'll lose out by not knowing the country. This book is inclusive. Best of all is the fact that this is the first book in a series about the Space Brigade and I, for one, am definitely looking forward to the next instalment which I hear might be on the planet Shobble.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For more adventures from the southern hemisphere we can recommend The Super Freak by Brian Falkner, but for another great adventure, why not try The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp by Jim Arnosky.

Buy The Space Brigade and the Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella by L M Moriarty at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Space Brigade and the Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella by L M Moriarty at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Space Brigade and the Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella by L M Moriarty at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Space Brigade and the Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella by L M Moriarty at Amazon.com.


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