Baker City herald. (Baker City, Or.) 1990-current, March 04, 2021, Page 18, Image 18

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Thursday, March 4, 2021
GO! magazine — A&E in Northeast Oregon
■ ■ Book Reviews: ‘The Collectors’
and ‘The Lion of Mars’
By Lisa Britton
For the EO Media Group
Fiction is my favorite type of
book, and I’m continuously drawn
to middle-grade fiction, which is
written for ages 8 to 12.
I am far beyond that age group,
of course, but at nearly 10 my
son is squarely in the middle so I
often find myself pursuing those
shelves at the Baker County Public
We recently picked up two
new releases: “The Collectors” by
Jacqueline West and “The Lion of
Mars” by Jennifer L. Holm.
Max, my son, was still engrossed
in his latest “Wings of Fire” book,
so I snuck these out of the pile and
read them first.
I loved them both.
“The Collectors” is about a boy
named Van who wears hearing
aids and has super-sharp eyesight
that helps him collect all sorts of
One day he notices a girl stealing
pennies from a fountain. Curious,
he follows her and soon finds him-
self torn between two worlds — one
where wishes are captured, and
one where all wishes come true.
This is a grand adventure and
encourages the reader to think
about wishes they make — on
birthday candles, on falling stars
— and consider the consequences if
every single one came true.
It also keeps you guessing until
the end to figure out who is bad
and who is good — and you may
even question that when you finish
the last page.
We now have the sequel, “The
Collectors: A Storm of Wishes.”
“The Lion of Mars” is set on
Mars, where Bell has spent the 11
years of his life living in a colony
built below the surface.
When a virus sickens the adults
— but the children are immune —
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facing their fears and venturing to
the other colonies located on this
inhospitable planet.
“The Lion of Mars” is a story of
bravery and hope and how some-
times we have to examine whether
what we’ve always held as the
truth may not be the entire story.
While science fiction isn’t my
first choice, this was such an enjoy-
able read with relatable characters
who, although they live on Mars,
experience the same challenges
and triumphs as children on Earth.
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