In the Red
But when his best friend, Lilith, suggests they sneak out one night, he can’t resist the chance to prove everyone—including himself—wrong.
As the two ride along the Mars surface in a stolen rover, miles from the colony, a massive solar flare hits the planet, knocking out power, communication, and navigation systems, and the magnetic field that protects the planet from the sun’s deadly radiation.
Stranded hours from home with an already limited supply of food, water, and air, Michael and Lilith must risk everything if they’re to get back to the colony alive.
Young readers will enjoy the fact that Michael does so many really, really stupid things; they'll be putting themselves in his shoes and thinking about how they might make other decisions. It's good to see a discussion of anxiety and panic attacks, and a bit unusual for a speculative fiction title to address these concerns.
Reading books like this make me all the more sure that I don't want to live on another planet, but the details of daily life, the survival in extreme conditions, and the friendship between Michael and Lilith will make this a great choice for young readers who need to escape Earth for a while.