The Interplanetary Expedition of Mars Patel by Sheela Chari

The Interplanetary Expedition of Mars Patel by Sheela Chari. Walker Books, 2021. 9781536209570

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Mystery or science fiction

What did you like about the book? Mars is on his way to Mars, hopefully to find his best friend Aurora. In book 1, Mars was investigating some missing children, but now he knows that the missing children are on the planet Mars. And luckily Oliver Pruitt is bringing him on an interplanetary trip (although it will take 6 months). Mars has new problems, however. He’s worried about his mom and his friends back on planet Earth because of the torrential rains in California. He’s also getting strange messages from a splinter group on Mars known as the Martians and led by “Fang.” Can Mars solve the mysteries and keep everyone he cares about safe? 

Chari has written a fast-paced sci fi series that has begun to delve into interesting territory, touching on the climate crisis (#thisishowitends) and the difficulty of managing a world of scarce resources. Fans of space adventures should definitely check out this series! 

Anything you did not like about the book? It got confusing at times and it felt like the author was trying to maybe do too much in this sequel. I also got a little confused by all the perspective shifting, which sometimes happened mid-chapter. I can’t wait for book 3, though!

To whom would you recommend this book? Students who read book 1 should definitely pick this one up.

Who should buy this book? All libraries that have the first book should definitely re-up.

Where would you shelve it? Mystery (the sci fi elements don’t really start until book 2 and you don’t want to give away the plot twists of book 2).

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Only if you’ve read book 1!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Date of review: December 15 , 2021

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