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SF Said
Age 9-11

Wrenched from his quiet life on Phoenix and without his mother, Lucky finds himself aboard a strange alien spaceship in the middle of an interplanetary war between Humans and an alien race; the Axxas. Contrary to all he has heard about aliens, Lucky finds Axxas are not so very different, he comes to trust the crew and becomes true friends with Bixa Quicksilver. She is a fierce warrior and loyal companion.  Together they race across the galaxy searching for Lucky’s imprisoned father. They hope to find out from him why Lucky has such affinity with the stars and the meaning of the strange power growing inside him. Does it have anything to do with the ominous threat to the Universe of the mysterious Wolf that eats the Stars?

This is an exciting Sci Fi story, an epic space quest complete with dramatic battle scenes. It is also a story about the futility of war and acceptance of those who are different, showing that we have much more in common than divides us and there is good and bad in everyone. This is a story which offers lots to talk about and may also spark interest in Space and in the stories and mythology peoples throughout time have used to describe it. Stunning sophisticated illustrations add to the mystery and otherworldliness of the story.

Watch a trailer



Talk about the story

  • Talk together about the characters in the story, which did you each find most interesting and why?

  • What would you tell someone else about this story?

  • If you could talk to the King Theobroma or President Thorntree about their war and the attitudes of their peoples to each other what would you say?

  • What would you like to happen to Bixa after the story ends?

Things to make and do

Make a picture
The stars in the story are described as ‘A million points of silver light shining in the black.’
Create a picture to show this, you could:

  • use silver pen or glitter on black paper

  • use white paint splattered on black paper or black painted paper. You could also make the background from dark pieces of paper torn from magazines

  • cover a small piece of paper with yellow crayon or candle wax then cover this with a layer of black crayon and scratch star patterns through it

Make a book about the crew of the Sunfire
Make a small folded book. Use each page to introduce each member of the Sunfire crew with a picture, their role on the ship and a description of them.  You could include Lucky too as he becomes part of the crew.

Look at the night sky
Look at the night sky on a clear night. Can you see any star constellations? Is the sky clear enough? Are any planets visible? Can you find out what they are? Here is a link which might be useful and this one too.  See the links below to find out more about stars and galaxies.

Write a poem
Look back at the pages which show Lucky flying through space and write a few lines describing:

What he can hear

What he can see

How he feels

 You could illustrate your poem with a picture of Lucky flying amongst the stars.

Write a statement
Write a joint statement from President Thorntree and King Theobroma to the people of the Human and Axxa worlds stating the war is over and how they should live in future, putting aside their differences.
You could make this into a flyer or poster.


See our print-off activity book with some of these ideas and other activities


Find out more

Read more books by SF Said 

Varjak Paw and The Outlaw Varjak Paw

Listen to SF Said talking about Phoenix.

Find out more about illustrator Dave McKean

Find out more about the solar system, and stars and galaxies

Find out about the life cycle of a star 

Watch a video about the Zodiac constellations