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Trouble in the Stars by Sarah Prineas

This middle-grade science fiction story begins with a shapeshifter with no memory of its past that sneaks aboard a spacecraft, convinced it’s been running from something but with no idea what it could be. The crew discovers it in a human form named Trouble. Captain Astra agrees to transport it to the next space station, and the members of the Hindsight start to grow attached to Trouble. But when a member of the StarLeague government arrives aboard the ship, answers about Trouble’s past are revealed and no one is sale.

I’d never read anything by the author before, and even though science fiction isn’t my usual genre of choice, I enjoyed this story a lot. One theme was what it means to belong to a family and the definition of “home,” and I appreciated how the author handled it. I liked that the crew came to accept and protect Trouble and defended him even when he gave them a reason to question their loyalty. I also like how Trouble grew as a character and how his self-identity developed. The story advances quickly and keeps the reader invested in discovering Trouble’s past and wondering about his future.

I recommend it for Gr. 4-7.