CYBILS MG Spec FICTION FINALIST: Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall


From bestselling UK author Sophia McDougall comes one fresh and funny adventure-filled tween debut about a group of kids evacuated to Mars! Perfect for fans of Artemis Fowl, this laugh-out-loud series is packed with nonstop fun.

When Earth comes under attack by aliens, hilarious heroine Alice Dare and a select group of kids are sent to Mars. But things get very strange when the adults disappear into thin air, the kids face down an alien named Thsaaa, and Alice and her friends must save the galaxy!

For when plucky twelve-year-old Alice Dare learns she's being taken out of the Muckling Abbott School for Girls and sent to another planet, no one knows what to expect. This is one wild ride that will have kids chuckling the whole way through.


Science fiction is a genre that isn't as common for middle graders as it is for adults, so I'm always interested when I see one for this age group.  And Mars Evacuees is a great example of science fiction.  The story focuses on a group of children that are sent to Mars to get away from the aliens that are trying to turn earth into an ice cube.  The children are to be trained as warriors to help fight for Earth's survival.  But things change abruptly when all the adults disappear and the station descends into chaos.  Alice is an interesting narrator for several reasons, one she gutsy, but more of a peacemaker than a fighter, despite her's mother's status as one of the best fighter pilots Earth has.  Plus the ongoing conflict between Alice and the other kids she teams up with feels very real as each has their own opinions about the best way to do things.  Alice is kinda the leader by virtue of the fact that she manages to hold the group together (barely).  But the adventures that the group has crossing Mars to another station to find help are fun to read about and the addition of a young alien from the Morrors that Alice's mother is fighting against complicates things mightily.

The only things I didn't like about the book were the inclusion of swearing and profanity, which were not at all necessary, especially in a middle grade book, and the discussion about Morror reproduction.  Other than those two things though, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Alice's adventures and look forward to reading the sequel, Space Hostages.


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