In Book 4 of David Horn’s delightful Eudora Space Kid series, third-grader Eudora orchestrates a double date to help the captain of the ship ask out her school teacher.
In the cafeteria of the space ship AstroLiner Athena, Eudora spots Captain Jax looking despondent and joins him, hoping to cheer him up. The captain reveals that he wants to ask Miss Allison on a date but is too nervous. Always the kind-hearted, spunky schemer, Eudora concocts a plan: The captain will go to dinner with Eudora and her date, and when she’s at school, Eudora will ask Miss Allison to join them.
Enter Arnold, Eudora’s best friend and sweet fuddy-duddy who reluctantly goes along, accompanying Eudora on the date. The dinner gets off to a rough start when another admirer of Miss Allison shows up. By dessert time, the scene is unpredictably crazy with an outcome sure to tickle readers. In addition, Eudora’s sister Molly adds comic appeal—especially when she offers Eudora some silly advice that turns out to be humorously prophetic during the date.
In some places, but particularly in the first two chapters, Eudora reveals too much of the backstory too fast, which slows the momentum. And some of the context she provides elsewhere isn’t essential to the story, also bogging things down. Additionally, readers may feel that the author’s characterization of the silly Dr. Ratz is sometimes over the top, such as when the supposedly skilled doctor gives Arnold a “napkin and a pat on the head” when he scrapes his knee.
No matter. Horn has created a one-of-a-kind cast of characters with an irresistible protagonist who’s always pulling them into zany situations. Young readers will gobble up this book–and wait hungrily for the next.