4.6 5
by Adam Jay Epstein, David McClellan, Andrew Jacobson

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Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, authors of the beloved Familiars series, ramp up the action in this space-age adventure that School Library Journal calls "a satisfying choice," perfect for fans of Star Wars and Percy Jackson.

Zachary Night has been waiting his whole life for this moment. Like his family before him, he's finally headed

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Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, authors of the beloved Familiars series, ramp up the action in this space-age adventure that School Library Journal calls "a satisfying choice," perfect for fans of Star Wars and Percy Jackson.

Zachary Night has been waiting his whole life for this moment. Like his family before him, he's finally headed to Indigo 8, a top secret training center where future Starbounders learn the skills to protect the galaxy. But being a Starbounder is no walk on the moon. No sooner has Zachary mastered the warp glove basics than a mission into space goes wrong and puts him and his new friends right in the line of fire. And when a plot to destroy Indigo 8 comes to light, Zachary will have to get back to Earth on his own and fast—before there's no Earth left to go back to.

With the "winning combination of action and humor" (SLJ, starred review) that earned The Familiars an Indie Next List Pick and eight state award nominations, Starbounders is an out-of-this-world adventure that has surefire kid appeal.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Allison Fetters
When Zachary Night arrives to Indigo 8 for his first day of school, he has no idea that ordinary life as a new student is only going to last a few short days. Zachary befriends Ryic, an outerverse exchange student, and Kaylee, a spunky female student, and within a short time, they are all inseparable. When a mission does not go as planned, the lives of Zachary, Ryic, and Kaylee quickly change and they all become aware of the impending threat to the entire universe. After finding themselves in numerous challenging situations, Zachary and his friends must work to protect each other through cooperation, motivation, and teamwork. Throughout their adventures, the fearsome three learn about each other, but even more, they learn about themselves. Zachary learns he can achieve greatness on his own that adds to his family’s legacy while maintaining his own sense of individuality along the way. The fast-moving, non-stop action keeps the reader engrossed and excited to learn what is going to happen next. Reviewer: Allison Fetters; Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—What looks like a normal boarding school is just the cover for Indigo 8, the Earth command center for the Inter Planetary Defense League and its secret training facility for young Starbounders. As a new trainee, Zachary Night has big shoes to fill. His ancestors have been Starbounders for generations, his parents were expert space pilots, and his big brother was one of the youngest Elite Corps recruits ever. With his new friends, rebellious Kaylee and alien Ryic, Zachary is excited to begin training. Unfortunately, the kids discover that something is very wrong at the academy. There are way too many dangerous "accidents"-including a near-fatal malfunction in the antigravity training Qube and deadly alien vreeks set loose at a picnic. Then, the three are assigned to their first off-planet mission, and their ship is hijacked by interstellar thugs. It crash-lands on the desert planet Sirocco, and the crooks begin to regard their hostages as expendable-or possibly edible. The action-filled story races from crisis to crisis, taking the junior Starbounders across the cosmos and into the thick of a plot that threatens to destroy Indigo 8-and Earth itself. In the grand tradition of juvenile adventure tales, the kids successfully outwit adult villains, sneak in and out of enemy strongholds, and operate high-tech equipment and top-secret spacecraft. The combination of boarding school high jinks and science fiction derring-do meshes surprisingly smoothly, and there are plenty of plot threads left for a sequel. Black-and-white chapter head illustrations show many of the alien weapons and creatures described in the text. A satisfying choice.—Elaine E. Knight, formerly at Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Switching schools means making new friends and remembering a new locker combination, but at Indigo 8, Earth's site for Starbounders-in-training, lessons tend to be a little more otherworldly. Incoming freshman Zachary Night has more than his new warp glove, the starchery range and the zero-gravity Qube to negotiate. Zachary is following in the footsteps of generations of Nights dedicated to protecting Earth from various outerverse threats. However, he is confident that with training he can live up to the legacy. But, when a custodial detail on a freighter goes awry, Zachary and his new friends are literally lost in space. The trio soon find themselves fighting space pirates, trying to survive hostile planets and negotiating a whole universe of alien species. Stock characters--a bumbling-but-lovable alien; a sassy girl with a chip on her shoulder; a hero with a legacy to claim--populate this uninspired adventure. Unfortunately, while its inspiration is clear (Alex Rider meets Percy Jackson in space!), the execution is anything but. Lame humor, familiar gadgets and a predictable plot collide, creating a story that will not satisfy even the most hard-core space junkies. A trek few will want to take. (Science fiction. 9-12)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Starbounders , #1
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Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Adam Jay Epstein spent his childhood in Great Neck, New York, while Andrew Jacobson grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the two met in Los Angeles. They have been writing together for film and television ever since.

Their interest in space dates back to their early years, when Adam attended Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama (and won the Right Stuff Award!), and Andrew went to a movie theater (for the first time) to see a rerelease of Star Wars.

Adam Jay Epstein lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jane, and their daughters, Penny and Olive. Andrew Jacobson, his wife, Ashley, their son, Ryder, their daughter, Willa, and their two dogs live close by.

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Starbounders 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sounds really good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best futuresc book that I have ever read!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really want to know more about this book. COME ON PEOPLE WRITE MORE REVIEWS.