Star Scouts: The League of Lasers by Mike Lawrence, 196 pp, RL 4
Last year Mike Lawrence's Star Scouts introduced us to Avani Patel, an earthling accidentally zapped into space by Mabel, a Zirdonian, who invites Avani to join her Star Scout troupe (as opposed to the Flower Scouts on Earth) and go to Camp Andromeda with her. There, Avani makes instant enemies with methane breather, Pam. The animosity grows as they find themselves competing against each other to earn badges. In Star Scouts: The League of Lasers, Avani, back on Earth, gets an invitation to join the League of Lasers. When she RSVPs "yes," she gets zapped into space, just like before.
Landing in a clubhouse, Avani is surprised to see Pam among the other aliens, but that doesn't dampen her excitement too much. For her initiation into the League of Lasers, Avani and the other initiates are told they will have to survive on a wild world for a whole week with nothing but their "official League of Lasers multi-tool." It all sounds reasonable enough until the spaceship Avani is jettisoned into takes her through the Bermuda Nebula before short circuiting and crashing.
Of course, Avani soon finds that Pam has been stranded on the same planet. After a night of surviving in the wild, the two realize that the planet they are on is inhabited. In a fantastic twist, they have landed on the planet occupied by a civilization of aliens that are just beginning their exploration of space and on the verge of launching a newly built, but not quite finished, spaceship. The girls, after braving the wild, find shelter in the room of an alien boy who always believed that there was life in outer space. But, they can't hide out forever. In their quest to return home, Avani and Pam have to use their brains and their bravery, along with their friendship, which begins grudgingly but becomes genuine. Lawrence delivers gorgeous, lush illustrations along with amazing alien flora and fauna, as well as the supercool aspects of the League of Lasers multi-tool. His creativity is off the charts and his storytelling is equally matched. I tore through The League of Lasers, dying to know how it ended, then went back and read it again, savoring it.
Source: Review Copy