Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Holly Farb and the Princess of the Galaxy

Holly Farb and the Princess of the Galaxy

Gareth Wronski
For ages 9 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2017   ISBN: 978-1481471770

Holly Farb is having a hard time. She is still smarting after losing her school election (she did not get a single vote) and, to make matters worse, in a few days she will taking a test to see if she can enter the Fallstaff Academy. Holly’s mother is very keen for her daughter to attend this school, and Holly is pretty sure that that is what she wants too. Maybe.

Holly is used to being the best student in her class and she is therefore not best pleased when a new boy, Chester, arrives, and he seems to know more than she does. He also seems not to know that one is supposed to raise ones hand when one wants to answer a question. All in all Chester’s arrival makes Holly feel quite disgruntled, and at lunchtime she seeks out a place where she can be alone. Which is when some very peculiar looking people turn up. They ask Holly if she is “important,” and if she is a princess.

The whole encounter is so strange that Holly rushes back to school where she encounters Chester in the hallway. Without really meaning to Holly tells Chester about the strange people, and to her surprise he believes her odd story. The children are about to make a run for it when the three strange people come into the school, blasting the door off its hinges in the process. They announce that they are members of the Pirate Union and that they want the children to “Hand over the Princess of the Galaxy or die.” They mistakenly assume that Holly is the princess, which is when Holly’s teacher, Mr. Mendez, arrives on the scene.

To Holly’s surprise he seems to know what the strange people are and he even comes up with a plan to escape. Unfortunately, the alien pirates, for that is what they are, transport Holly, Chester, and Mr. Mendez to their pirate ship in space before the humans can do anything to save themselves.

The good news is that Mr. Mendez is not a novice when it comes to dealing with alien species. In fact, he has even been a teacher at Star Academy on Tragadore VI. He helps them all to escape from the pirate ship, and the three former kidnappees, who are floating around in space, are picked up by a cruise ship. The captain is a generous alien who is willing to take them to the nearest space port where they will be able to find a ship that will take them back to Earth.

The three travelers are able to disembark at the space port and it looks as if all is going well when everything goes horribly wrong. The next thing they know they are fleeing security personnel and stealing a spaceship. Then Holly and Mr. Mendez find out that Chester is not in fact a Chester at all. Nor is he a boy. Nor is he even a human.

In this delightful and highly entertaining story we meet a very colorful cast of characters, most of whom are aliens. Holly, Mr. Mendez, and the being-who-is-not-Chester end up being shoved from one adventure to another as they desperately try to stay out of the clutches of the pirates. Little do they know that they are simply pawns in a bigger game that they do not even know exists.

With wonderful touches of humor the author tells a story that anyone who likes a tale full of adventure will enjoy.