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2022 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (5)
- Colorado (3)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (2)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas
- Kentucky
- Louisiana
- Maine (1)
- Maryland (2)
- Massachusetts (5)
- Michigan (2)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (9)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon (1)
- Pennsylvania (2)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (2)
- Utah (2)
- Vermont (3)
- Virginia (1)
- Washington (4)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming (1)
- Washington, D.C.* (1)


Antarctica (1)
Australia (2)
Egypt (2)
England (15)
France (1)
Greece (1)
Ireland (2)
Italy (1)
Malaysia (1)
Nepal (1)
Poland (1)
Portugal (1)
Romania (1)
Scotland (3)
Sweden (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:

36 / 51 states. 71% done!

2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

19 / 50 books. 38% done!

2022 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2022 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

My Progress:

65 / 53 books. 123% done!

Booklist Queen's 2022 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Aussie Author Reading Challenge 2022

1 / 24 books. 4% done!

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

3 / 20 books. 15% done!

2022 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

My Progress:

36 / 50 books. 72% done!

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

My Progress:

39 / 52 books. 75% done!

2022 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 40 books. 95% done!

2022 Support Book Bloggers Challenge

2022 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Friday, December 10, 2021

Uplifting MG Space Adventure Makes Me Smile

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Although Bell was born on Earth, he remembers nothing about life on the Blue Planet. The 11-year-old has grown up on Mars with four other kids, six adult scientists, and one cat. He knows nothing of his biological parents; he and all the children in their settlement have been raised collectively, so everyone in the colony is one big family. Despite his unique living situation, Bell's just an ordinary kid—he does chores, has school lessons, argues with his siblings, and eats casserole (made of algae, but still) for dinner. He wonders about lots of things: what it's like to live among forests and a variety of animals on Earth, what's coming in on the next supply ship (chocolate!), and what secrets the adults are hiding. Bell knows there are other settlements nearby, so why don't the humans on Mars interact with each other? Are the other scientists, all from countries other than the U.S., really as dangerous as the adults say? What are the other colonies like? Are there kids there? 

When a virus hits the colony, leaving all the adults desperately ill, it's up to Bell and his siblings to save them. But how? In desperation, they risk everything to find the human settlements they've been told never to contact. What they discover shocks them. As they learn what really happened between the adults on Mars, they must use their new knowledge, plus every resource at their disposal, to help the people they love. Can Bell and his ordinary, sheltered crew of kids really save the day, let alone the planet? Maybe not, but they have to try...

Science fiction really isn't my thing, so I hesitated a little to pick up The Lion of Mars, the newest standalone middle grade novel by Jennifer L. Holm. I shouldn't have because the book really isn't about spaceships or robots or aliens—at its heart, it's about family. The setting is unique, the characters are likable, the plot is compelling, and the vibe is upbeat. While the story revolves around a scary event, the tale remains warm, uplifting, and entertaining. Many valuable lessons—about friendship, forgiveness, found family, kindness, etc.—are taught through the kids' experiences. More than any other book I've read this year, The Lion of Mars made me smile. I loved it.

(Readalikes: Hm, I can't think of anything. You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find

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