Billy Chen thought himself to be an ordinary kid until he is forced to escape Earth with a Mars Mission Crew bound for Mars in the Venture Shuttle from NASA. The crew exists of Billy's father a particle physicist, his mom, Captain Harris an Astronaut, the Captain's young daughter Amber, Lt. Roberts, Dr. Frank and Mr. Brody. The Venture also carried a variety of farm animals and plants they would need on Mars to start a colony. There was many other supplies needed for the mission.
This book was not what I had expect at all. It is so surreal especially since NASA landed the rover Curiosity on Mars,on August 6th, 2012.
It was fun reading about gravity and how to cope with no gravity while in space. It was very humorous to hear Billy explain the ugly side of no gravity while trying to care for and clean-up after the farm animals. Can you imagine!
There was so much necessary for their flight to Mars and the explanations by the crew of Mars Mission were very informative and exciting to read as to how they built from scrap what was needed as certain situations arise.
I like the way the author had the book written like a journal by Billy and Amber with help from Billy's mother, Mrs. Chen. In one chapter of the journal Billy described themselves as space pirates. Not gonna tell you why! You will have to read the book.
I highly recommend this book for ages 9 and up.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
What would you do if you learned your father was responsible for the annihilation of the Earth? If you were Billy Chen, you and your family and a few others would steal a shuttle and head to Mars. When Billy Chen's father announces that he has accidently created a black hole that is going to destroy the Earth, they and several others make plans to escape to Mars in the hopes of colonizing the planet to continue the human race. I thought of Noah's Ark as I read this story. They take animals and other things they will need to survive. I remember as a child, (I'm dating myself here) watching astronauts deal with the lack of gravity in space. I always thought of how much fun it was to have your food or drinks floating and trying to eat it. This book put a different spin on things. Imagine trying to clean up after animals in a gravity free area. I loved the way the story was told in alternating perspectives from Billy, and Amber, the captain's daughter. This is just the first book. I look forward to recommending this to my students. It is a great middle school read. I also look forward to reading more by this author.
Aaron, my 9 year old, is just in love with this book. He sat at the kitchen table giggling and giggling and having the best time. Especially with Billy's chapters. On top of being a hilariously funny book, Escape to Mars, has some very cool and sneaky way of teaching a little bit about science and outer space. This was a big hit with me, since I adore anything my children can learn from. Especially when it comes in such a creative form. ( After reading about the author, and learning he has children, this made so much sense! We parents have to always "sneak" clever little ways of teaching lessons) The story is imaginative and invites the readers (mainly kids) (although us parents love to dream and imagine too!), to discuss what they would do in this situation, what would they bring with them to Mars, how would they pack? What about Earth would they miss? The story starts with Billy's family, his father comes home to try to explain about the black hole he helped create, that was in the center of the Earth, and how the Earth would be swallowed up by this black hole. The chapter is written by Billy, which is a unique way to present this book, through the eyes of a 10 year old boy. After we are introduced to Amber, a 10 year old girl, we get to read her side of this amazing adventure! Billy and Amber's families, and a few other people needed to help start a new civilization on Mars, start their journey to outer space. They pack some food, some animals, different things needed in order to survive on Mars, and grab a space shuttle to start their adventure. The print in the book changes with each 10 year old's writings, which helps to distinguish between the 2. I thought this was a neat addition to this fun story! This is the perfect bedtime story, and your kids, any age, will love it! What little kid doesn't like outer space, space ships, Mars, and all the funny things that happen to Billy and Amber. Well, not everything is so funny. They certainly have their fair share of mishaps and some scary situations that they must. as a team, brainstorm and try and figure out. Billy and Amber included. The author does a fine job creating this story, the characters are scenes are vivid and colorful and crafted well! It certainly has a lot of twists and turns and will be sure to keep your little ones attention. We were thrilled to see there will be another book coming in this series and we can't wait! Note to the author from Aaron, my 9 year old: This would be so cool if you would make a movie or tv shows about this book!! It would be my new favorite show! Lol;P Kids just love outer space, anything funny, and books written in their language. I have to agree with Aaron though, this would be a great mini series!
** We received a copy of this book in return for our honest review **
It's about a boy and a girl who run away to Mars with three men and three women. First, the boy writes a chapter, then the girl writes a chapter, and so on and so on. If it was possible to give it a seven star, that's what I would give it.
It was really cool: most of the time was spent in space, and they landed on Mars. The reason they ran away to Mars was because the world was being eaten up like an apple with a worm in it.