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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Life on Mars is pretty standard…until a mysterious virus hits. Don’t miss this timely and unputdownable novel from the bestselling author of The Fourteenth Goldfish.

Bell has spent his whole life—all eleven years of it—on Mars. But he's still just a regular kid—he loves cats and any kind of cake, and is curious about the secrets the adults in the US colony are keeping. Like, why don't they have contact with anyone on the other Mars colonies? Why are they so isolated? When a virus breaks out and the grown-ups all fall ill, Bell and the other children are the only ones who can help. It's up to Bell—a regular kid in a very different world—to uncover the truth and save his family...and possibly unite an entire planet.

Mars may be a world far, far away, but in the hands of Jennifer L. Holm, beloved and bestselling author of The Fourteenth Goldfish, it can't help but feel like home.

©2021 Jennifer L. Holm (P)2021 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

2022, California Young Reader Medal

2022, Florida Teens Read

2022, Hawaii Nene Award

2022, Kentucky Bluegrass Award

2022, Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award

2023, Minnesota Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award

2022, Nebraska Golden Sower Award

2023, Oklahoma Sequoyah Children's Book Award

2022, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award

2023, Rhode Island Children's Book Award

2022, Texas Bluebonnet Master List

“Peppered with such intriguing scientific details as the pervasive nature of Mars dust, Holm’s absorbing speculative novel is...rendered with a keen sense of place grounded by identifiable sociofamilial relationships.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

"The plot and setting are elegantly simple, yet the story proves completely engaging, driven by a charming cast of gentle characters and, more so, by Holm’s lean, measured prose, which moves briskly and seems to strike a resonant note on every page." (Booklist, starred review)  

“A delightful space adventure.” (Kirkus Reviews)  

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What listeners say about The Lion of Mars

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Lion of Mars is out of this world!

This book was wonderfully performed and captured the characters perfectly. A wonderful story of a life on Mars that my 8 & 10 year old thoroughly enjoyed. This book shared the importance of science, diversity, and friendship.

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Great book!

My grandsons and I listen to this book on the way to and from school. They really enjoyed it!