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In the Red



by
Christopher Swiedler

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
HarperCollins
Imprint
HarperCollins
ISBN
9780062894410

Awards and Honors
2021 The Eleanor Cameron Notable Middle Grade Books Listee, ALA
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use
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Hatchet meets The Martian in this thrilling middle grade survival story about two friends stranded on Mars with only their space suits and their wits to keep them alive.

Michael Prasad knows he shouldn’t go out on the Mars surface unsupervised. It’s dangerous. His parents have forbidden it. And the panic attacks he experiences almost every time he puts on a space suit make it nearly impossible for him to leave the safety of the colony. But when his best friend, Lilith, suggests they sneak out one night, he can’t resist the chance to prove everyone—including himself—wrong.

As the two cruise along the Mars surface in a stolen rover, miles from the colony, a massive solar flare hits the planet, knocking out power, communication and navigation systems, and the magnetic field that protects the planet from the sun’s deadly radiation. Stranded hours from home with an already limited supply of food, water, and air, Michael and Lilith must risk everything if they’re to get back to the colony alive.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

288

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

5.1: points 8

Lexile

700L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jul 2020

Book Genres

Adventure, Science Fiction

Topics

Mars. Science fiction. Survival. Space exploration. Space colonies. Friendship. Anxiety. Panic.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal

School Library Journal

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. 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.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

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. 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.

Grades 5-8
High Interest Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

These exciting, age-appropriate fiction and nonfiction titles will appeal to even the most reluctant middle-school readers. With that kind of appeal, the 12 books in this category will rarely sit on the shelf.

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Interests
Clean Books,Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,Graphic Novels,Reluctant Readers,Transitional Readers,Thriller/Horror/Mystery,Funny/Humorous,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 5-8
High Interest Middle Plus
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