The Plot: Bell is a kid who has spent most of his life in a colony on Mars. He and a dozen other people live a subterranean existence watching out for dust storms and waiting for the next supply ship. Conflict on earth has prevented contact with other small colonies on Mars established by other nations. When the adults in the colony are sickened by a strange illness, Bell and the other young people must find a way to reach out for help before their food and oxygen run out.
My Take: I often have trouble finding good science fiction books to recommend to young readers. Thankfully the ‘Lion of Mars’ is an enjoyable read and definitely falls squarely into the sci-fi genre. Holm does an excellent job giving the reader a sense of how important the relationships within the colony are to its survival. It was also interesting to contemplate how fascinated the young people were with Earth. It certainly drove home the point of how much we take for granted on our beautiful planet.
One Interesting Note About The Author: The impetus for this book came from Jennifer Holm’s father who was a fighter pilot during the Korean War. Nursing a lifelong interest in space, Jennifer learned that many of the early astronauts were also Korean War pilots.