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Mars Evacuees Paperback – March 27, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5–7—Alice Dare's mother is a pilot, fighting the Morrors in space, and her father works on a submarine, laying mines. Just 15 years in the future, the world is slowly freezing-making it more comfortable for the invading Morrors, but worse for humankind. Sooner than expected, Alice is evacuated to Mars, and enrolled as a cadet in the Exo-Defense Force, under the watchful eyes of a variety of robots and in the blustery command of Colonel Dirk Cleaver, who is determined to whip the children into a fearsome fighting force. Mars has undergone intensive terraforming and now sports a somewhat breathable atmosphere and the beginnings of plant life, along with a low gravity bounciness that's hard to resist. With new friends Carl and Josephine, Alice participates in drills, has some fun, and steps into a leadership role when the adults on the base disappear. Determined to get help, Alice, Josephine, and Carl steal a Flying Fox and cross paths with a Morror their own age. These young friends help the adults see that the real threat is not from one another, and the story wraps up with hope that humans and Morrors can coexist. This book has plenty of action, with middle school humor and an occasional, but mild, swear thrown in during times of stress. Suggest to fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix's "The Missing" series (S. & S.) and Emma Clayton's The Roar (Scholastic, 2009).—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Witty and well observed, it injects science fiction with the recognizable everyday experience of ordinary youngsters.” - The Sunday Times (UK)

“Sophia McDougall has created a fascinating world on a realistically terraformed Mars so that even the nerdiest kid should be able to enjoy the story without picking holes in the science.” - The Express & Star (UK)

“This book is exciting, fast-paced, and I really enjoyed it.” - Magnet (UK)

'This is a fantastic sci-fi adventure, full of surprises and fun. I tore through it and loved every minute!' - What (British) kids are saying (lovereading4kids.co.uk), Sam Harper, age 10

'Mars Evacuees is a great book full of action, emotions and great descriptions...an awesome book.' - Charlie Flood ,10

'This book is a science fiction book for those who like maggots that fly around and try to eat you...Mars Evacuees is a book you might want to read.' - Dylan Sweet, age 10

'This book was absolutely brilliant...I would rate this book ten out of ten stars. It is awesome I hope they write another one.' - Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 11

'The book was very descriptive about the planets and space and think it would appeal to girls who like science fiction and space adventures. I enjoyed reading this book.' - Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 11

'This book is a real page-turner, I couldn't stop reading! I think this book is very cleverly worded, making it seem like the reader is actually stuck on Mars. I laughed pretty much all the way through!' - Abigail Smart, age 11 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd (March 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405268670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405268677
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,757,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird on July 16, 2015
Format: Hardcover
I’ve a nasty habit of finishing every children’s book I start, no matter how dull or dire it might be. I am sort of alone in this habit, which you could rightly call unhealthy. After all, most librarians understand that their time on this globe is limited and that if they want to read the greatest number of excellent books in a given year, they need to hold off on spending too much time devouring schlock and just skip to the good stuff. So it is that with my weird predilection for completion I am enormously picky when it comes to what I read. If I’m going to spend time with a book, I want to feel like I’m accomplishing something, not slogging through it. My reasoning is that not all books are good from the get-go. Some take a little time to get going, you know? It might take 50 pages before you’re fully on board, so I always give the book the benefit of the doubt. Some books, however, have the quintessential strong first page. They are books that are so smart and good and worthy that you feel that you are maximizing your time on this globe by merely being in their presence. Such is the case with “Mars Evacuees”. A sci-fi middle grade novel that encompasses everything from gigantic talking floating goldfish to PG discussions of alien sex, this is one of those books you might easily miss out on. Stellar from the first sentence on.

At first it seemed like a good thing that the aliens had come. When you’ve got a planet nearly decimated by global warming, it doesn’t sound like such a bad deal when aliens start telling you they’ve got a way to cool down the planet. The trouble is, they didn’t STOP cooling it down. Turns out the Morrors are looking for a new home and if it doesn’t quite suit their needs they’ll adapt it until it does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Natalie @ Book Lovers Life on February 15, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This is such a great read! Quite fun but also at times quite scary!!

When Earth is invaded by Aliens and the war between humans and Morrows has been going on for a long time, it is decided that it may be safer to send some kids to Mars. It has been terraformed and is habitable by humans. AliceDare is one such "lucky" child. Her mother is a fighter pilot and Alice has been sent to live away from the danger. Unbeknownst to anyone, Earth isn't the only planet in danger and when all the grownups disappear on Mars, Alice Josephine, Carl and his brother Neil set off to find help.

With a lot of colourful characters I think Alice and her crew were definitely my favourite. All of them are the exiles, as such. Josephine is extremely smart but is always being picked on for being odd and Alice finds it hard to fit in. Carl is a ball of energy and always seems to be doing something that gets himself into trouble. They are all brave, selfless and strong. It's nice to have an odd ball assortment of characters that get on so well together.

I think the world building was amazing in Mars Evacuee. Earth is at war with the aliens and the kids are sent to an unhospitable place. Everything about Mars is weird, even with Terraforming happening. There aren't that many adults on Mars because most of the things are robotic, they have some awesome robotic teachers, with the Goldfish being the best. This is a Goldfish shaped Robot that teaches the kids, he ends up on the adventure with Alice and co and brings a comic atmosphere with him. He was so awesome!! Also the Teddy Bear teacher that the junours have sounded so funny! Alice describes it as a scary bear and all the younger kids are terrified of it!! Even the aliens were awesome!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
You know, there are lots of strong female characters out there for middle grade fiction readers, but there's always room for one more. And the star of this book is a particularly appealing heroine.

Alice Dare, (even the name is great), isn't funny, exactly. She isn't snarky, exactly. She's courageous, but not in a Sheena the Barbarian sort of way. For a middle grade heroine she is grown up, world weary, and ruefully attuned to her surroundings. The Earth she lives in has been invaded by invisible aliens who have occupied the polar regions, sending ice, snow and cold to the temperate zones as a consequence of their terraforming. Alice has been relocated to a camp on Mars for her safety and to train her up for combat.

This is a pretty sly play on the relocation of kids to the English countryside during World War II. It also serves to explain how a tween girl can be so weary and worldly wise at such a young age. The set up underscores the slight tone of gallows humor and desperation that underlies the tale, and it also gives the author free reign, (which she seizes with delight), to create all manner of Mars and space based adventures, conflicts and sub-plots.

The result is a story that has a rich but vaguely skewed atmosphere, a novel but seemingly realistic premise, and characters who cover a wide and varied spectrum. This isn't just teen drama, or extraterrestrial adventure, or alien invasion stuff - there's a bit of all of that, but it is wrapped up in a more thoughtful and intriguing story of how Alice copes with it all. This is one of those odd and idiosyncratic books that is loaded up to the gills with plot and background and world building and action, but still revolves mostly around the thoughts and reactions of the heroine and her mates.
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