*This post may include spoilers*
For those who’ve spent a fair amount of time with me, know one of my growing interests has been science fiction. It was off limits as a kid from my own barriers placed upon myself and who I imagined myself to be at that time. With a sense that I missed out on something, I’ve always spotted science fiction across genres ever since.
When The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm came into the store at Cream & Amber, I had to pick it up. Not only was it a quick and exciting children’s book, but it had all the space and science fiction themes that make me love adult sci-fi today. And as an adult, I really enjoyed the subtle political themes that also typically appear throughout the genre.
This story follows eleven-year-old Bell as he grows up on the surface of Mars in the American settlement. He loves cats, all cakes, and exploring wherever he can. But since the colony is isolated from the other settlements on the surface, no one is allowed to leave or explore outside.
When the other children decide to take a rover and explore, things don’t go as planned when they discover the French colony very angry, causing them to turn around and believe the adults: the other colonies don’t like the Americans.
Bell being the only one not convinced, he decides to explore even further. But once a virus hits the colony and all the adults are sick, it’s up to the children to save their colony—and possibly unite an entire planet.
*A few disclaimers and SPOILERS: This book does include death, illness, and grief and mild forms of defecation and confinement. It also doesn’t include any lions (so if you’re giving this as a gift for someone who likes lions, this is probably not the best option).*
I loved this book because it was quick, fast adventure that answered all your questions at the end. It allows children to dive into science fiction in such an easily digestible way that introduces some of the stereotypical tropes you’ll see in adult science fiction.
As always, feel free to order these directly from your local bookstore or from my favorite bookstore, Cream & Amber.
Peace, Love, and Mars Tech