A book that will expand readers’ horizons with its scientific foray into the solar system.

IF YOU WERE ME AND LIVED ON...MARS

From the If You Were Me and Lived in... series

Roman and Arkova’s (Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?, 2017, etc.) picture book imagines what life might be like for the first colonists on Mars.

This science-based look at what could possibly occur in the not-too-distant future is something of a departure for the author, whose prolific output of “If You Were Me and Lived in…” books has focused on the past and present. Roman uses a similar framework here, inviting readers to put themselves in the spacesuit and boots of a 10-year-old who’s traveled to the red planet as part of a three-year colonization expedition. Over the course of the story, Roman imparts Mars facts—about its terrain, its atmosphere (or lack thereof), the length of its days and years in comparison to Earth’s, how the names of its two moons came to be, what humans will need to live there, and more. This easily digestible, signature mix of textbook fact and Roman’s relatable, conversational style provides readers with an engaging way into the subject of space exploration, which is only deepened by a back-of-book pronunciation guide and glossary of terms. Roman might consider, however, adding a resource list to future editions for those young people who might be interested in further study on their own. The visual design of the book, while not striking, is comfortably polished, with glossy covers and clear, mostly white text incorporated into full-page illustrations. Artist Arkova, Roman’s frequent collaborator, suggests the Martian landscape in watercolor-style hues of rusty reds and blues, with touches of green and yellow in the colonists’ habitat. She adds a touch of whimsy with the addition of a frolicsome dog, dressed in a helmet and tail-accommodating spacesuit.

A book that will expand readers’ horizons with its scientific foray into the solar system.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5408-6972-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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DAUGHTER OF THE DEEP

A teenager faces seemingly insurmountable challenges in this riveting modern-day spinoff of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

For Ana Dakkar and her fellow ninth graders at Harding-Pencroft Academy, there is nothing more momentous than the weekend trials each student must ace at the end of freshman year. Students who fail to showcase their survival skills are asked to leave the academy, a heavily guarded place Ana has thought of as home since the mysterious deaths of her parents. Though Ana’s brother, Dev, is a senior, what happens at trials is such a closely guarded secret that no one in her year knows what to expect. While her group is out on the water for their trials, Harding-Pencroft is demolished in an attack orchestrated by a rival school. As Ana and her classmates discover that the events depicted in Jules Verne’s classic novels were real, Riordan’s lifelong love of the source material is clear—especially when Ana learns information that will help her find a way to protect the group. A foreword by Roshani Chokshi introduces this adventure that is both great entertainment and centers a well-developed protagonist who is thoughtfully shown dealing with loss. Ana is of Bundeli Indian descent, and her group of peers, who are diverse in various ways, experience losses and struggles of their own. (Final illustrations not seen.)

A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star. (Harding-Pencroft Academy guide, cast list) (Adventure. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-07792-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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Cool and stylish.

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ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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