The Truth about Martians

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Life seems really hard for 11-year-old Mylo, who sleeps in a room with an empty bed where his brother used to be. It even seems to him that there is grayness around his dad, who doesn’t play ball with him anymore. He has lots of questions about life and God and growing up. Mylo does, however, at the same time have his comic books and his best friend Dibs.

Their world suddenly becomes much different when the boys see crazy lights and colors during a night-time storm. When they go to investigate the next day, they discover a crashed flying saucer in the field near their Roswell, New Mexico ranch. WHAT?! Mylo even hears inside his head a plea, “Help!” He has never really believed in Martians, but his curiosity (and maybe a little bravery) lead him to some amazing discoveries.

This book by Melissa Savage is delightful to read. She pulled me into Mylo’s life so quickly that I could hardly put the book down. Throughout the story, she skillfully hints at the troubles that have touched Mylo’s life. For instance, his best friend Dibs sometimes shows up with a cut lip or bruises which he won’t talk about. Another time when Mylo and his family stop to pick him up for church, his dad is drunk and yelling at everyone. These events aren’t described in excessive detail but do add layers of meaning and answers to his growing-up questions. This sharing of characters’ back stories of heartache teaches readers about compassion for the “misfits” of the world.

There is no swearing or offensive content in this book, which takes us back to a simpler time in 1947. However, the struggles for young people to understand hard things are timeless, and I delighted in the thoughtful answers provided and also in the depiction of a community coming together to support each other in a difficult and curious time. Perhaps it isn’t really historical fiction, but something unusual happened in Roswell that year and readers will be interested in the unresolved mystery. I highly recommend this book, and will be reading more of Melissa Savage’s books myself.



Categories: Books We Recommend, Books with No Objectionable Content, Death and Grieving, Diversity, Grief, Historical Fiction, Navigating through Middle School, Peer Relationships, Science Fiction

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