Book Review - BBC micro:bit and Moon Dust Aliens
Reviews

Book Review - BBC micro:bit and Moon Dust Aliens

Kerry Kidd
Kerry Kidd

About the book:

A group of four friends Will, Shazia, Megan and Fergus are known as the Moonbeams are coming up to the last few days of the term before their summer holidays. They get called into the headmaster’s office who announces they are about to take a trip of a lifetime over the summer.

Front and back of the book

They have been picked to take a trip to the moon to test for microbial life forms and that they were to leave in 2 weeks.

When the Moonbeams got to the moon, they were thrown into an unexpected situation just a little while earlier what was thought to be an asteroid had hit the moon, and the moonbeams were to head out with scientists to see what they could find out. When they got to the impact site they were getting no reply from the crew that got on-site first so the scientists decided to out and investigate within a few minutes they had come across the other team of scientists lying paralysed on the ground. The noticed that the ground was covered in blue dust.

The dust particles cling and feed on the electric energy of the adults making them paralysed within a short time there is only the moonbeams and Mr Jelly Beans their android left unharmed.

While the Moonbeams were checking the adults they noticed brown lumps growing on them and decided that they needed to burn these off. As they started doing this the adults began to regain consciousness, but as the moonbeams reached some of the adults, they could no longer find these brown lumps instead they found bat-like creatures which evolved from these lumps once they had fed enough.

The other space shuttle that went out at the same time as the moonbeams got told to head back to Armstrong the moon city they had came from. They didn't realise the space shuttle was covered in the blue dust so ended up carrying the dust aliens back into the city with them.

The moonbeams went to take samples of the dust while they did this they also discovered red and yellow particles but there were not as much of these compared to the blue ones. Once they had finished taking samples they went and met up with everyone else that was on their shuttle ready to get transported back to newton, obviously they made sure to get picked up away from the dust particles so not to infect another city.

When they caught up with everyone they realised there was no movement around the space shuttle. they looked through the windows to see goblin-like creatures bent over the adults feeding on their blood. The obvious conclusion was that the bat-like creatures had now evolved into goblins with wings.

The Moonbeams found away to access the shuttle but they then had to figure out a way to defeat the goblins. As they were devising a plan to open the doors and distract the goblins they didn't realise two of the goblins were at the other side of the door. Megan gave out a horrific scream and the goblins threw their hands up to their ears by this point they fell to the ground with blood flowing from their ears.

Megan's scream had killed them, but Megan didn't think she could produce that sound again so they would need to think of a way to make the sound to defeat the rest.

Will reached into his pocket and found his micro:bit it then came to him that he could code this to produce the same sound Megan had to defeat the rest of the goblin-like creatures. He got the rest of the Moonbeams to do the same.

Once they had rescued the adults the Moonbeams radioed back to Newton explaining their situation. They got told to take control of the shuttle and drive it back to newton with the help of the command centre.

Once back in Newton they were taken to brief the Commander on their discovery. As children weren't affected by the aliens, the Commander sent them on a mission back to Armstrong to see what was going on there as they had lost all communications.

When the Moonbeams reached Armstrong they found the streets deserted so headed for a high building to get a good view of the whole city to find that the goblins had everyone cornered within the city square and they looked to be taking orders off of someone. The children reported this back to Newton and got told they had done all they could and to return to Newton.

When the children returned to Newton they met with the commander who was getting all the army troops together ready to take on the goblins within Armstrong. The Moonbeams got told they had done everything they could and that they were to start writing their reports instead of doing this the Moonbeams made improvements to their micro:bits to make their sonic gun even more powerful, but once they had finished this they wanted to test them out to do this they went in search for the labs where the scientists had been running their experiments on the dust particles that the Moonbeams had collected at the impact site.

The Moonbeams found the first room where they encountered the blue dust particles they were able to take them out just as easily before so they decided to track down the room that held the yellow dust particles upon reaching this room they found the yellow dust particles to be smarter than the blue ones as they had managed to escape their cage and the lab. The student radioed this in to find out they had already been dealt with. Next, they went on to find the red dust particles. These did not turn into aliens as such but instead big read balls which they presumed held all the data that the goblin-like creatures would need from their own planet.

Once checking in with the commander to let him know of this information the Moonbeams have another mission due to the goblins taking control of the airlocks the commander and army can not get into Armstrong so they need the Moonbeams to go through an old entrance that is too small for an adult to get through. The Moonbeams have been been given small drones to help them fight any goblins that they come across. The Moonbeams make it through the tunnel only to be swarmed by a group of goblins. They quickly take them out and skirt around the edge of the city to open the airlocks on their way they get captured by a group of goblins and lose their weapons but luckily they had their drones deployed and managed to use them to fight off the goblins, but they kept getting chased by swarms of goblins while they make their way to opening the airlocks they again find themselves having to take out groups of goblins and having to guide a broken Mr Beans to the airlock control panel to let the commander and the army in. The Moonbeams have saved the moon.

What do we think?

This is a great book if you have kids interested in programming the micro:bit and or space. The book will help inspire kids to get creative with the micro:bit and perhaps try and recreate the sonic guns that the Moonbeams created themselves.

I love how creative the Moonbeams got with their micro:bits to defeat the dust aliens. The only thing that would have made this book better would have been to include some example code for kids to recreate on their own micro:bits.

We rate the book a 9/10

Where to buy?

You can get your own copy from

The BBC Micro:bit and the Moon Dust Aliens: Amazon.co.uk: Virk, Irfan: 9780992731830: Books
Buy The BBC Micro:bit and the Moon Dust Aliens by Virk, Irfan (ISBN: 9780992731830) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders.