By Ann Birdgenaw
Publisher: DartFrog Books
Date Reviewed: July 27, 2020
Release Date: March 27, 2021
Ann Birdgenaw's novel Black Hole Radio opens with the following questions. "Do you believe in black holes, wormholes, wrinkles in time? Are you interested in space travel and alien encounters that lead to amazing adventures? If not, you should close this book now." Readers know that the story that's about to unfold will be filled with adventure that thrills their imagination.
Black Hole Radio introduces readers to fifth-graders Hawk and his best friend Matt. Both boys are fascinated by outer space and its mysteries. With imaginations that are typically only found in kids, they envision intergalactic travel and the existence of aliens. Little do the boys know that by the end of the first chapter, they would be on an adventure after being sucked through a black hole created by an old radio.
Birdgenaw's Black Hole Radio also sucks readers in and doesn't let go until the story ends. Even though this is a young-adult novel, adults will get drawn into the boys' adventures will the bullies from planet Boogernaut. After defeating the Boogers and saving the peaceful residents of planetoid Shnergla, Hawk, Matt, and their new alien friends work on getting the boys home to Earth.
Ann Birdgenaw's writing flows easily. Young readers won't have any trouble following the characters' adventures and her vivid descriptions will keep kids and adults entertained. Black Hole Radio fuels the imagination, while also imparting an important message. It seems that even advanced intelligent alien races can be bullies and even enslave those living on other planets. The boys not only realize that Earth has a similar history of slavery, but the planet also has bullies. One example is the kid that bullies Hawk at school.
This is a middle grade sci-fi novel that is fun to read and kids will easily identify with Hawk and Matt. Like many fifth grade boys, they are enthusiastic fans of Star Trekkers, going so far as to create their own space club. Even though they are the only two members, their enthusiasm for space never wavers. This is another lesson the story teaches readers, to always follow your passion and believe in yourself. Hawk and Matt learn this and other lessons during the journey to get back home.
Friendship, peace, and acceptance are the themes in Black Hole Radio. Even if it doesn't, yet, apply to alien races in 'real-life' it is still something everyone should strive for in their lives. In a sense, the author wants her readers to apply the same beliefs in love, peace, and friendship that Hawk and Matt share.
By the final pages, readers will know that the boys' adventures aren't over. Everyone that picks up a copy will be eagerly waiting for the next installment in the story. Anyone that is looking for a fun and imaginative story will enjoy spending time with Hawk, Matt, Celeste, Wolfie, and the rest of their friends.
Do you believe in black holes, wormholes, wrinkles in time? Are you interested in space travel and alien encounters that lead to amazing adventures? If not, you should close this book now."
Ann Birdgenaw is a librarian in an elementary school and always wanted to write a book of her own. She was inspired to write this story by a strange beeping coming from a box in her garage. When COVID-19 hit Canada and everyone was in quarantine or lock down, she had lots of time to imagine being sucked through a wormhole to other planets and what wonderful things she might find there. She is also the author of the soon to be published, humorous picture book titled, "The Squirrel Show". Stay tuned!
Ann lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with her family and two morkies: Bilbo and Sheba.
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