Amy Raphael: The Ship of Cloud and Stars (Orion 2022)
„Per aspera ad astra” Through hardship to the stars.
Nico Cloud is obsessed with science and legends. At home, however, her younger brothers get everything because they are boys. All Nico has to do is embroidery and tutoring her siblings. When her beloved books are taken away from her, she runs away with her remaining treasures (a map and fossil from her aunt, as well as seeds collected by her) She hopes that her parents realize how important she is to them in her absence. Nico’s aunt is a researcher, but in 1832 there are not many laurels for female scientists, so she is forced to travel the world dressed as a man on a ship called Anthos. Nico just wants to take a look at the ship, but accidentally she sails out to sea with it as a stowaway. Now it’s up to her what to do with the opportunity that fell before her.
This is very nice story about self-realization and following your dreams. I also really liked the fact that it draws attention to the importance of science and traditions without fantastical elements. As the book says: “Fossils are the past, but seeds are the future.” Knowing our past is as important as building our future.
Amy Raphael works as a journalist and has written several documentary books about popular culture, while conducting thousands of interviews with celebrities such as Kurt Cobain in New York at two in the morning. She pays special attention to the representation of the role of women. Her first middle grade novel (The Forest of Moon and Sword) is a feminist folk tale set in 1647. The Ship of Clouds and Stars is her second middle grade novel, decorated with the beautiful illustrations of George Ermos.