In the Red

Michael Prasad knows he shouldn’t go out on the Mars surface alone. It’s dangerous. His parents have forbidden it. And the anxiety he feels almost every time he puts on a spacesuit makes it nearly impossible for him to leave the safety of the colony.

But when his best friend, Lilith, suggests they sneak out one night, he can’t resist the chance to prove everyone—including himself—wrong. 

As the two ride along the Mars surface in a stolen rover, miles from the colony, a massive solar flare hits the planet, knocking out power, communication, and navigation systems, and the magnetic field that protects the planet from the sun’s deadly radiation. 

Stranded hours from home with an already limited supply of food, water, and air, Michael and Lilith must risk everything if they’re to get back to the colony alive.

Reviews

“By telling the story from Michael’s perspective, Swiedler offers a fresh take on heroism through an honest portrayal of the emotional struggle of overcoming anxiety. The friendship between Michael and Lilith feels real and grounded as they confront family issues, mental health, and their own relationship, and readers will be left breathless by stunning descriptions and harrowing feats of survival as two tweens face death, danger, and emotional upheaval.”

Booklist

“The writing is reminiscent of Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet and Andy Weir’s The Martian—it maintains a skillful blend of science and survivalism to keep readers engaged and invested in the outcome [...] A smart choice to read individually or as a group to further explore the possibilities of life on Mars and the ­science behind the fiction.”

School Library Journal

Awards & Accolades

Rights