In 2016, The Inexplicable Disappearance of Mars Patel – a serialized podcast about a smart kid and his friends trying to solve the mystery of vanishing students at a billionaire-inventor’s fancy prep school – won a Peabody Award for “introducing a new generation to the wonders of audio storytelling.” Since then, the podcast has been developed into a YA book series with a heavy science-fiction component, and just in time for holiday stocking-stuffer book lists, the latest edition is out now.
Having set things mostly right on the red planet, Mars is ready to come home. But he’s not ready for what’s waiting for him – more adventure, as well as discovering the truth about his own family!
Here’s the official description:
After Mars Patel fled the Martian colony and its erupting volcano, he headed for Earth with JP, Toothpick, Aurora, Cupcake (everyone’s favorite two-hundred-pound tardigrade), and genius billionaire Oliver Pruitt. But when they finally arrive, Mars is shocked to find that all the adults on Earth have mysteriously vanished. Aurora, the popular new principal of Pruitt Prep, thinks Earth is better off without the adults, while Mars, who’s now a celebrity, is desperate to find his mom. As tensions rise and new mysteries are revealed—including a secret lab, an impending election, and a wild new discovery on Mars—will Mars and his friends manage to unravel the truth? Or is Oliver Pruitt outplaying them all?
The Extradimensional Reappearance of Mars Patel is a fast-paced near-future adventure that brings our savvy young hero face to face with a brave new world with kids running the show. Sure, they’re making great strides in solving the climate crisis, but without parents around, things get a little lonely. To solve the mystery of where all the grown-ups went, Mars will have to reunite with old friends and find out what his mom had to do with the construction of the Seattle Space Needle, whose walls have been getting somewhat liquidy of late. As with the whole series, this entry into the Mars Patel cycle gives us smart, earnest kids in a setting that’s very sci-fi, but also very connected to the problems we face today. And, in the end, the kids figure out how to save the world and make things better. So, if you’re looking for new stories for your kids that celebrate the geek in all of us, check out The Interdimensional Reappearance of Mars Patel.