A strange spacecraft lands in a town, the (human) captain is dying and children take over the operation of the spaceship.

That's all I remember, it bugs me not to know. I'm trying to find it for my kids to read, they have just started "A Wrinkle in Time".

Thanks for anyone's help.

  • Hi there. I've cleaned up your text a little and changed the tags and title to help you get an answer. If this changes the intended meaning of your question please feel free to revert these edits.
    – user8719
    Jan 1, 2014 at 13:06
  • What language was it in?
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 1, 2014 at 18:11
  • 1
    @ScifiDad. This sounds very familiar. Do the children accidently launch the spaceship and get stranded in space. One of the boys (the "nerdy" one" who knows math, etc.) has to try and learn how to pilot it to return. He then becomes "popular" with the other children including a young girl his own age. This puts him into conflict with one of the other boys who is normally the "popular" one.
    – beichst
    Jan 1, 2014 at 19:21
  • 1
    If this is correct, I also recall in the group of children there is one boy who becomes isolated and afraid (i.e. regresses to wanting his mom to the point of reality denial of what is going on). There is a very young girl nicknamed "Beauty" because of her angelical features. I seem to remember the setting for the children was Great Britain, specifically England. Does that sound about right?
    – beichst
    Jan 1, 2014 at 19:21
  • @JimmyShelter - Thank you
    – ScifiDad
    Jan 1, 2014 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


Thanks! Based on the additional information I have tracked it down. It is Nicholas Fisk's Space Hostages, published in 1967.

Book cover - *Space Hostages*

A crazed and dying Flight Lieutenant, nine village children, a top-secret spacecraft - all of them out of control and adrift in space! Someone must take charge. But who?

Brylo has the brains, but not the personality, so it is the powerful young bully Tony who sets himself up as Captain - and steers the ship and its cargo of children towards new and horrifying dangers...

  • that is great! Glad I could help.
    – beichst
    Jan 2, 2014 at 21:18
  • @ScifiDad: When you return, you can accept the answer by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Oct 17, 2018 at 11:48

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