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Book Review—Crater, by Homer Hickam


The first time I—and most people—can remember noticing actor Jake Gylenhall was in “October Sky”, about a high schooler named Homer whose homemade rockets demonstrated an understanding of rocketry far beyond his years. The real-life Homer wrote about his experience, and that book, “Rocket Boys” was the basis for “October Sky.”

A few decades and several books later, Homer Hickam has given us “Crater”, the first of what promises to be a series of adventure novels written for boys between ages 10 and 90.

As part of Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program, I received “Crater” for review purposes, and was excited to let my 10-year-old son read it. These days, it seems the vast majority of fiction written for teens and preteens is aimed at girls. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I liked “Crater” as much as my son did.

The story is set a hundred years in the future, where Earth has been ravaged by war, and several thousand survivors and war refugees have traveled to the moon to begin a new life. Crater is a 16-year-old orphan who works a low-paying—and dangerous—job as a miner of Helium-3, an excellent energy source which is not found on Earth but present in abundant quantities on the moon. Crater’s quick thinking saves the lives of fellow miners, and this action leads to a new, even more dangerous assignment.

When choosing something for your kids to read, you may, as I do, look for a few things which help make the book more attractive. Here’s what “Crater” offers: a main character whose integrity is evident to those who know him; Scripture references without the entire story coming off as preachy; a challenge to a young man to make his life really count for something; a fight worth fighting; an innocent but meaningful budding relationship with a young woman of character; a life purpose beyond the mundane; bravery; older men mentoring younger ones.

I’m glad my son read “Crater” and I’m glad I read it as well. I ‘m looking forward to the next one.

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