Coping Through Fiction

A Field Guide to the Aliens of Star Trek, the Next Generation by Joshua Chapman, age 11, edited by Zachary Auburn. The Devastator, 2017. 9781942099284.

Chapman gives a short explanation and critical review of the coolness of each of the aliens appearing on Star Trek: The Next Generation. His reviews are initially a part of a school writing assignment, then become a zine. As the reviews progress, you get glimpses of his very difficult home life: his mom is inactive and ineffectual except when she is screaming at Joshua or threatening to kill herself in order to control him.

Joshua’s story is really sad, and it’s hard to watch him struggling with how to escape it. It’s not the most amazing story-behind-a-story book I’ve read, but I did really connect with how Joshua found characters in Star Trek that helped him explain how he felt. (He’s not the only one who liked Data the best).

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