On the small space station Azura, Maxion Belmont is constantly torn between his two passions—engineering and music. Both are hobbies handed down from his father, bittersweet since his death two years ago. While his hydrodriver is great for repairing starship parts, his father’s old string instrument tugs at the latent grief Max hides from his mom and classmates with each chord Max strums.
When a foreign starship appears on the horizon, Azura welcomes their first tourist in years. Enter, Mr. Hames, starship captain and space-brained traveler. But there’s something weird about the stranger-turned-substitute teacher. He has no idea how to teach and thinks enlisting a group of twelve-year-olds to become his starship “crew” is totally normal. Or maybe it’s the fact he keeps raving about the existence of alien whales in the vacuum of space: star whales.
As Max and the rest of Mr. Hames’s class/crew uncover the mysteries of the star whales, they discover they aren’t the only ones looking for the elusive creatures—and not every whaler has good intentions. Confronted with questions about his own father’s history with the star whales, Max must decide how far he’ll go to understand not only his father, but also the boy he’s become since his death . . . even at the expense of the star whales themselves.
About the Author
The wild Rebecca Thorne can be found in her natural habitat: the local coffee shop. She is rarely more than an arms-length from her laptop and her “Becky’s” coffee mug. When not in pursuit of caffeine, she prefers to relax with her two dogs, ensconced in her butt-cloud beanbag sofa. She might have been the flight attendant cracking puns on your last Southwest flight . . . or she might have been trying not to melt in the Arizona heat while you traveled the country. Rebecca has been writing since she was 11 years old, and never cared to leave her young protagonists. Though she prefers fantasy and science fiction, she’s dabbled in every genre under the middle grade umbrella.