George Goes To Mars by Simon Dillon
(Summary taken from an email the author sent me) "When George Hughes discovers he has inherited the planet Mars, he goes from poverty to becoming the richest boy on Earth overnight. Accompanied by his new guardian, a mysterious secret agent, and a crew of astronauts, George voyages to Mars to sell land to celebrities wanting to build interplanetary homes. But sabotage, assassination attempts and an alien threat plunge him into a deadly adventure."
This book has a little bit of everything: action, adventure, mystery, space, a touch of romance, a few surprises, and some politics scattered here and there. Hahaha.....you know how I feel about that last one in middle-grade and early YA books. Yeah, not my favorite. Anyway, there are some good moments in this book. I liked a few of the characters. I liked Giles and I liked George's parents. I also liked a few of the characters on the space expedition. For some reason, I just didn't latch onto George. I'm not quite sure why, but I didn't relate to him at all. The story line was ok. I actually found a lot of it too unbelievable to even go with. It's not fantasy where you can kind of go with it, it's sci-fi and supposed to be realistic, and I didn't really find it to be realistic. The whole premise was a little out there for me. I wanted to like this book because I liked "Uncle Flynn," Mr. Dillon's other book, but it just kind of fell flat for me. My boys might like it more than I did; maybe it's more of a boy thing. I usually like sci-fi, and space can interest me, but this time I just didn't care what happened to George (even though I wanted to), and that usually isn't a good sign.
There are a couple of swear words, but that's all. There's some violence with fighting and bullies, and a deadly river with some graphic descriptions. There are some deaths as well.
I might give this to my boys to read (they are 12 and 10), because it may just be a boy thing. I'll let you know if they enjoy it more than I did.
Rating: PG+ (Minor language, violence with bullies, deaths, fighting in a war, and a deadly river with some graphic descriptions)
Recommendation: 5th grade and up (10-11 year-old), and I think boys will be more interested than girls.
(It's only $.99 on amazon.com right now, so it might be worth the read.)