Monday, October 23, 2023

Happy Book Birthday, Galaxy Jones and the Space Pirates by Briana McDonald!

It's time to celebrate another book birthday. This one actually releases tomorrow, but I do love to scream out birthdays every chance I get. The last few days, space seems to be a theme and space pirates slides right into that category. I do love the bright colors on the cover—so pink—and the island with the skull. I have a feeling this one will pack tons of adventure and imagination. So, let's dive in and find out.

by Briana McDonald
Simon and Schuster
Middle Grade Science Fiction
288 pages
ages 8 to 12

From the author of Pepper’s Rules for Secret Sleuthing and The Secrets of Stone Creek comes a rip-roaring middle grade space adventure about a girl who is determined to save her family and friends from ruthless pirates—even if she has to venture across the universe to do it.

Galaxy Jones lives on the very, very edge of a star system in an inn run by her dads. She loves her home and her little family, but ever since the train station that serviced their part of the universe went defunct, tourists have stopped coming, and Lexi’s on the verge of losing it all. When the royal family stops at their inn on the way to a neighboring star system, Lexi’s dads hope for some good business, but Lexi knows from past experience with spoiled Prince Weston—and his annoying dog, Comet—to expect nothing but trouble.

Turns out, that “trouble” is a whole lot bigger than she anticipated. Weston has stolen something. Even worse, he’s stolen it from notorious pirates—former followers of Lexi’s idol, the famous pirate Astro Bonny—who have tracked him straight to her house. Problem is, Weston has lost the trinket somewhere in deep space. And now the pirates are holding all the adults hostage with the threat of destroying the inn if they can’t find what they’ve come for.

Lucky for Weston, Lexi has a plan. In exchange for his help saving the family business, she will use all her skills and embrace the adventurous spirit of the great Astro Bonny to help him find whatever it is the pirates are after. With some pluck, and a whole lot of luck, she might just pull it off—and make an unexpected friend along the way.

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The deepest depths of space might seem forgotten, but this read shows that adventure can happen anywhere.

Lexi lives on the outskirts of a star system, where her parents run an inn, which seems to have been long forgotten. When guests finally show up, she's thrilled...until she realizes who the guests are. Having the Royals stay at the inn might seem like an honor, but Lexi and the young prince can't seem to get along. When Lexi learns that the Royals have arrived on a mission to stop the pirates, and said pirates are right on their heels, the adventure begins.

There's quite a bit to like about this read. First, the setting is imagination pure. The inn on the outskirts of the system, bound by a very, very long rope to another house, where her best lives when he's not traveling space with his mother to deliver astronaut ice cream. The prince, his dog, and the pirates round it off to create an original cast with more than a few quirks and surprises. There's character growth, dangerous moments, and more than a few times, where readers will wish they could head out to space, too.

The pacing is, for the most part, quick and keeps the readers rooting for Lexi the entire time. The beginning did draw out a little more than necessary, but then, it was entertaining to get to know the inn and the world around Lexi. After all, space means tons to discover. On the other hand, there were times where it would have been fun to explore and learn more about the system. I'm hoping this is only the first book in the series, and that this is only the beginning of what Lexi's universe holds. 

And here she is...

Briana McDonald writes diverse and adventurous books for young readers. She studied writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University and her short fiction has appeared in several literary journals. When she’s not writing, Briana lives and works in New York City with her wife and their dog, Rex. She is the author of Pepper’s Rules for Secret Sleuthing, The Secrets of Stone Creek, and Galaxy Jones and the Space Pirates. Find out more at


Natalie Aguirre said...

This sounds like a fun SF adventure. And the cover's really inviting. Glad you enjoyed it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

What a fun title.