A Sci-Fi adventure with a touch of murder mystery, Jewish undertones and overtones, and much food for thought, Starglass is a gripping read and an interesting, unusual choice for the young adult searching for something slightly off the well-beaten track.
Terra Fineberg and her family reside in an immense spaceship, centuries removed from a dying planet Earth, now en route to a new world on which they hope to establish a secular though somewhat traditional form of Jewish life. As they near their destination, political and personal unrest complicate the choices the characters need to make, reminding readers that certain elements of human nature seem never to change in spite of technological advances and the passage of eons.
The author presents humanly flawed, complex characters trying to make good choices in troubling times. Ethical decisions in complicated situations here, as in real life, are never as clear-cut as one would wish and this view of the future is disturbing but it is not completely without hope. The fictional elements meld into a fine read which is recommended for ages 12 and up.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.