|Last day on Mars (Chronicle of the Dark Star)|
Author: Emerson, Kevin
Book one: Earth has been burned up by the sun, and slowly the human race is preparing for a five-hundred-year journey to a distant star. But young people are about to make a series of profound discoveries about the nature of time and space, and find out that the human race is just one of many locked in a desperate struggle for survival.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 187913
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 71432
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/16)
School Library Journal (01/01/17)
Booklist (+) (01/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/17)
The Hornbook (00/07/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 Gr 4–8—The year is 2213. Earth has been destroyed, thanks to the sun turning into a supernova far sooner than anyone expected. The humans who are left in the solar system reside on Mars, which will soon meet the same fate as Earth. In order to survive, they plan to colonize a distant planet named Aaru-5. Thirteen-year-old Liam was born on Mars. His whole life, his scientist parents have worked long hours doing vital experiments for the Mars-to-Aaru-5 transition. On the day when the last starliner spaceship will leave for Aaru-5, almost all of the 100 million remaining Martian residents are already on board. Liam and his best friend Phoebe remain on the ground, waiting for their parents to finish work at their research facility. The two teens expect to spend the day idly awaiting their departure. Instead, they end up discovering an invisible research lab, appropriating some seriously advanced 4-D alien technology, saving their parents from a fiery explosion, flying through space with an artificially intelligent panda named JEFF, and racing to catch up with the last starliner so they can deliver important information that might be the key to saving humanity. (Oh, and also so they won't be left behind forever.) While complex at times, this series opener is action-packed and entertaining. With a focus on space and time travel, including well-researched and accurate science, the novel will be an easy sell for sci-fi enthusiasts. VERDICT This fast-paced adventure story is recommended wherever science fiction is in high demand.—Liz Overberg, Zionsville Community High School, IN - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2017 *Starred Review* Earth’s sun is steadily expanding, and by the year 2213, the little blue marble has already been charred to a crisp. Luckily, humans have found a temporary home on Mars, where they’re building massive ships and terraforming technology in preparation for a 150-year journey to a more habitable planet far away from the soon-to-supernova sun. Liam and Phoebe are the last kids left on the Red Planet, and they’re waiting for their parents to perfect one last project before they get in their starliner and begin their journey to the new world. But as the kids do one last round of exploring their Martian colony—the only home they’ve ever known—they’re waylaid by a huge obstacle: sabotage. As Liam and Phoebe try to catch up to their starliner and warn them before they’re left behind, they make an even bigger discovery: unbeknownst to humans, there are other beings in the universe. Emerson has clearly done his research and includes lots of actual Mars features and space science into the more imaginative sci-fi elements, such as a time-traveling watch salvaged from a mysterious alien ship, which helps Liam see the future of potential choices. With high-stakes tension, propulsive action, multidimensional characters, and vivid scenes, this well-wrought and thrilling series starter is perfect for middle-graders who prefer their sci-fi to be grounded in the realm of the possible. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.