Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design: 4
Plot and Story Appeal: 4
Character Appeal and Development: 4
Voice and Writing Style: 5
Opening on a somber note, Space Pilgrim takes the reader into the home of Logan Pilgrim whose mom is lost in space. Logan and new neighbor/friend Piper set off to find and rescue the lost space ship and Logan’s mom. They are befriended by a robot Quark and abused by human bully Teddy a stowaway. The tale is one of wild imagination and fantasy space creatures and encounters. Life threatening situations leave Logan and Piper on the run for much of the story. White text on black ground contributes to the tensions of adventure. Quark is their protector and educator despite the fact he speaks in little blue dots. This reader heard bleeps and beeps when those blue spots appeared. Not until well into the book did I realize they are actual coded messages with the key at the end of the book. The code is Braille and a good way for youngsters to dip into another language of a sort. I was somewhat disappointed in the ending of the book. After pages and pages of text and art, it seemed to just stop. Perhaps this is the norm in kids’ books? If the young readers are caught up in this story, they will clamor for the next volume in the series. In reading adult series fiction, each volume is self contained but invites the reader to the next experience. I should like to have seen some word from or about lost mom Jane to give insight to the next step in this progression. Maybe I risk nitpicking but question the use of apostrophes to indicate lisping. One typo has the wrong homophone used. For youngsters it is important to be as correct as possible. The art is lively and very descriptive of text. The text is sometimes a bit tongue in cheek and fun to read. Boy and girl partners should give the tale wide appeal to youngsters of both sexes. The book is geared for early readers who have some solid experience behind them. The use of Braille gives great motivation for family or class discussion about folks with different abilities.
-26th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards