|In the red|
Author: Swiedler, Christopher
A survival story about two friends stranded in the middle of the Martian desert with only their space suits and their wits to keep them alive.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 508826
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/19)
School Library Journal (03/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2020 Michael only knows life inside the Colony, but he has a plan to finally gain the certification that will allow him to venture out upon Mars’ surface. Unfortunately, his parents think it’s too dangerous for him to even try, and his anxiety disorder keeps him from finishing the test. To cheer him up, Michael’s best friend, Lilith, sneaks him out, and they daringly decide to travel across the surface, only to become trapped when a solar flare knocks out their communications. The stakes are high for the stranded pair among the beauty, wonder, and danger of a harsh Martian environment. By telling the story from Michael’s perspective, Swiedler offers a fresh take on heroism through an honest portrayal of the emotional struggle of overcoming anxiety. The friendship between Michael and Lilith feels real and grounded as they confront family issues, mental health, and their own relationship, and readers will be left breathless by stunning descriptions and harrowing feats of survival as two tweens face death, danger, and emotional upheaval. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 6 Up—Panic attacks have kept Michael Prasad from getting his space suit certification and keep him locked inside the safety of the Mars colony. But after he nearly passes the advanced qualifying test, his best friend Lilith arranges for them to sneak out onto the surface. One stolen rover and a long jaunt later, a solar flare knocks out all communication and navigation, leaving them stranded with little food or water and a quickly depleting oxygen tank. All they have now are their wits and Michael's knowledge of navigation and locations of possible sources of supplies from outlying facilities. Working together is the only way they might make it back to the colony alive. Michael and Lilith are well-written characters with whom students will quickly identify. While their decision to "borrow" a rover isn't well thought out, their teamwork and ingenuity in the face of danger are admirable. This is a wonderful adventure novel filled with so many twists and turns that it seems the characters very well may not survive. The story manages to invoke a real sense of danger, and at times hopelessness, as the teens fight to survive a hostile environment without help or resources. The writing is reminiscent of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet and Andy Weir's The Martian—it maintains a skillful blend of science and survivalism to keep readers engaged and invested in the outcome. VERDICT A smart choice to read individually or as a group to further explore the possibilities of life on Mars and the science behind the fiction.—Elizabeth Speer, Weatherford College, TX - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.