Eighth Grade vs. the Machines

Carolrhoda. (Adventures of the PSS 118: Bk. 2). Oct. 2021. 280p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781541598942.
Gr 4-7–Public School Ship 118 is ready to launch. The crew of students and teachers has been grounded on Earth while rebuilding the ship after a harrowing escape from the Minister, an evil alien Queen who made the rest of the human race vanish. This sequel to Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy once more follows underdogs Jack, Ari, and Becka as they work together to find the missing global population. Instead of a glorious return to space, PSS 118 is captured by a robot army under secret orders from the Minister. Former allies and new friends join the battle against the oppressive Minister and her tyrannical plans. This middle grade space opera is heavy on the action, with fight and chase scenes dominating the narrative. As in the first installment, the irreverent sense of humor and obvious nods to sci-fi tropes keep the tone lighthearted and comedic. Fans of the genre will appreciate the numerous references to futuristic tech and weaponry. Romance between Ari and Becka is briefly hinted at; overall, friendship and collaboration dominate. The three main protagonists are cued as white.
VERDICT A goofy, fast-paced interstellar adventure. Recommended for purchase where the first title is popular.

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