Companion Books for 2016
Malden Reads is pleased to offer a wide variety of companion books for young readers, all of which complement the 2016 adult book choice, The Martian by Andy Weir.
The companion books echo many of the topics and themes of the main book selection, which include space exploration and scientific progress as well as cross-cultural collaboration and the timeless story of human survival in the face of seemingly impossible odds.
Cosmic Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Grades 6-8. 336 pps. Called by critics, “hugely funny and utterly gripping” and “a story of human possibility with a lot of adventure,” Cosmic is the story of Liam, “a big lad,” who, after entering and winning a Greatest Dad Ever contest, finds himself in a spacecraft that is off course and 200,000 miles away from Earth. An “extravagantly imaginative” space adventure that also deals with family ties and what it means to be a dad.
Welcome to Mars: Making a home on the red planet by Buzz Aldrin and Marianne J. Dyson. Grades 3-8. 96 pps. With an Apollo 11 astronaut and NASA’s first female flight controller as your guides, you can’t go too far wrong. Aldrin and Dyson invite kids to “build the first city on Mars,” and add copious artwork and full scientific detail to explain how it can happen.
You are the First Kid on Mars by Patrick O’brien. Grades 1-4. 32 pps. Putting readers in the middle of the action, this book tells readers, in step-by-step instructional fashion, “what would happen and what you would do, if you were the first kid on Mars.” Full of scientific detail of technology that is within our reach.
Mars: Worst Case Scenarioby Hena Kahn and David Borgenicht. Grades 4, 5. 208 pps. Can the youngest crew of astronauts ever make it back home from Mars? This Ultimate Adventure Novel gives readers 24 possible endings, but only one leads to fulfillment of all the misson’s goals. Clear, comic-book style illustrations meet science-based space exploration and adventure in this fun and informative quest for success.
Mousetronaut Goes to Mars by Mark Kelly and C.F. Payne. K to Grade 3. 40 pps. Written by a real astronaut, this is the tale of Meteor who, despite training hard to become an astronaut, is not chosen. After sneaking aboard the Mars mission craft, Meteor proves that being small is an advantage when he is able to save the crew from certain death. An Afterword, explains the history of and potential for exploration of Mars.
The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers. K to Grade 2. 32 pps. A boy finds a plane in his closet, flies it into space, and is forced to land on the moon, where he meets another stranded traveler…from Mars! The two must figure out how to get back home. Jeffers uses charmingly quirky pencil and watercolor illustrations and deadpan humor to tell this tale of space, collaboration, and friendship.
Roaring Rockets by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker. Pre-K. 24 pps. Learning about the machines that take us to space is a blast when you do it with funny rhyming couplets, bright, bold illustrations, and a crew of wacky animals. Also includes a picture dictionary of machines to facilitate reference skill-building.
Looking Down by Steve Jenkins. Pre-K to Grade 3. 32 pps. What if you were an astronaut looking at Earth from space? Starting from that vantage point, using beautiful cut-paper illustrations, the author moves us closer and closer to earth, until we arrive in our own backyard. A great starting point for discussing the idea of our huge and amazing universe.