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The Lion of Mars by Jennifer Holm

A great middle grade novel that teaches readers about the importance of friendships and having a community to support us through all of life’s adventures.

The Lion of Mars by Jennifer Holm tells the story of a United States colony living on Mars. The story is told from the point of view of Bell, a young boy who has never lived on earth. The kids don’t understand why they aren’t allowed to visit the other countries’ colonies and have been told by the adults that the other countries are dangerous. However, once the kids are forced to go find help for the adults who are suffering from a virus, they quickly learn that the other colonies are willing to do anything to help. Their world becomes a little bigger, and a lot better once all the colonies decide to work together to survive on Mars.

We’re like the lions…We’re alone on Mars. We need the people in the other settlements to survive. We need a pride.

Bell, The Lion of Mars

Thoughts from Sixth Grade Students

Carter, Jordan and Molly read The Lion of Mars in a book club and took notes on Padlet . When they finished the book, they decided to adopt the “One Pager” project into a “Two Pager” to accommodate all they wanted to say about the book.

Molly’s Thoughts:

I think every teacher should have this book in their library because it has an important message about family, friendship and survival. Families come in all shapes and sizes and are important to help us through challenging times. While the children in the book initially thought living on Mars would be a great adventure, they quickly learned that there would be challenges that would take a community to solve.

Final Thoughts:

The Lion of Mars reflects on the message of acceptance, no matter what our differences are. We love how Jennifer Holme shows us that children are often more open minded than the adults in their lives. Here’s to hoping that children’s ability to embrace all our differences will help to create a more accepting world.

As my students pointed out in their two-pager,

This book shows that family and friends come first and teaches the reader that no matter where we are from, we are all the same at heart.

Molly and Carter highly recommend The Lion of Mars by Jennifer Holm.

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