This chapter book for early readers makes a very good homeschool read-aloud. In First Contact, Book 1 of Terra Prime Adventures, T.D. Patrick tells the story of Zack, 12. He’s  one of 1500 colonists snoozing in hyper-sleep for nine months while rocketing away from Earth to colonize a new world.

It’s time to wake up! Zack is shocked to discover he’s the only one awake.  Sally, the shipboard computer, wants him to deal with an unknown intruder sneaking around on the fifth level among the supplies.

In waking Zack, she’s made a mistake. Zack’s dad, head of security, had switched pods with Zack at the last minute when it was time to snooze. Now inflexible Sally won’t wake up Dad because the occupant of Zack’s pod is the only one authorized to be awake. So confronting the intruder is up to Zack. It’s a good thing he’s had some training from his dad in dealing with scary stuff!

This well-constructed slender chapter book, first of a series, seems a good book for boys. It also promotes courage and other virtues, and we need more books like that! Anime-style drawings may be just what the youngsters are looking for. It’s perfect as a homeschool read-aloud.

Sci fi fans will particularly enjoy it, along with kids who are ready for short, illustrated chapter books. 

Short Story by Phyllis Wheeler

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