In a universe full of authoritarian adults, the kids fight back.
Aspiring astronaut Lily Lupino is stationed in 1949 Brooklyn, her dreams fueled by the Trip Darrow radio show. On the same night she cuts her hair off in a gesture of feminist rebellion, a real spaceship crashes into her kitchen, piloted by none other than Spacetronaut Kosmo Kidd. Armed with a British accent, Kosmo declares that Lily’s 2-year-old brother, Alfie, is a secret space operative. Kosmo’s mission is to free “Agent Argos” from the adult jailers (his parents) of “prison planet” Earth, so, thinking Lily is a boy, he takes both her and Alfie back to Fort Spacetronaut, “a tree-borne tin space shack” occupied by a ragtag group of girl-hating boys. As Lily stands strong to prove her worth, retrograde gender politics isn’t the only thing plaguing the kidverse. It seems that kids in Outer Outer Space live in hiding, constantly fleeing the evil Morgonites, soldiers led by the Mean-Man of Morgo, an adult with a comically long mustache whose main mission is the Dejuvenation of mischief-making kids. But when Lily and Kosmo are captured, she learns the Mean-Man has a secret of his own….Readers don’t need to know the radio serials this book is lampooning in order to enjoy the silliness and abundant wordplay; feisty Lily ably grounds the narrative’s over-the-top shenanigans. Lily’s white, Kosmo’s black, and Outer Outer Space is a multicultural place.
Humorous space opera with a distinct Dr. Who flavor. (Science fiction. 8-10)