by Patrick O'Brien
Putnam's, 2009. unpaged. Nonfiction.
The first boy on Mars, in O'Brien's atmospheric (sorry) rendering is a sober young man, his delight in his grand adventure shown by the slightest changes in expression. Perhaps he is an android, one thinks. But in any case, the Martian landscape as pictured here is grimly beautiful, the Red Planet living up to its name. The mechanisms of exploration should be fascinating to young readers as well: exploration drones, robot rangers, a greenhouse to grow food, a plane designed to fly in Mars' thinner atmosphere. Youngsters interested in space exploration should find endless fascination in this fine volume.