Wouldn’t it be great if some sort of space multivitamins existed which could transport you to anywhere in our solar system? In Andrew Kilgariff’s children’s novel Hadrian and the Moonbiscuit, the main character gets to do just that. One night, eleven year old Hadrian wakes up to find a nine year old ‘boy’ from the planet Jupiter in his room. The creature, named Grior, has lost his way near Earth and can’t get home without his Universe Bag, which contains all of his travel crystals. Hadrian offers to get them back for him, and sets off on an adventure to the moon. There he encounters friendly fruit balls and evil Plutonians. He travels through giant moon craters and swims in a swimming pool with dry water. And just as Hadrian starts to believe all will end well, he makes a startling discovery that turns humanity’s knowledge of space travel on its head.
Hadrian and the Moonbiscuit is an exciting book for young readers, especially for those with a keen interest in science and astronomy. The concept of edible crystals that can take you to all the planets and moons in our solar system is an original idea, and gives plenty of opportunity for exciting adventures. However, this is the author’s first – and sadly, only – novel. It needs to be said that character development and language, as well as continuity and style could have done with a little more help from editorial. Sometimes the plot relies too heavily on moon logic! Still, it’s an imaginative and crazy adventure that will keep young readers waiting to see what’s in store next. The surprising twist at the end leads the sometimes topsy-turvy story to a thrilling conclusion.
Unfortunately, Andrew Kilgariff passed away in June, aged 66.