This is the story of a brother and sister who find themselves
as accidental stowaways on a space shuttle mission to
the planet Mars. The things they see and the things
they find will excite the reader’s imagination.
story is in 14 chapters (8000 words), written for kids
aged 4 to 10. It can be read aloud to kids aged 4 to
7, or read alone by kids aged 7 to 10. There is also
a 32-word glossary at the back on the book. In the story,
the defined words are underlined.
1 (142 words)
As a nine
year-old, she also knew a great deal about what was
going on right now on Mars, about the new space settlement
that was about to be completed! Meghan’s father’s
next mission was one week away, and he wouldn’t
just be floating around the moon or the space station
this time. He would be on his first mission to Mars.
Some day it would be Meghan’s turn. She wished
her time would come soon, but her dad reminded her that
she still had many years to deal with such nuisances
as high school and university before she would be flying
in any space ships to anywhere. It turned out that her
father, right though he was about most things, was quite
wrong about this one - and, truthfully, he probably
used another word than “nuisance” to describe
his kids’ education.
#2 (298 words)
In no time,
the two errant children stood before Commander Ray Johnson,
Chief Engineer of the ship, and Navigator Horace. The
fact that he was their father wasn’t going to
do them any good now. They were in deep trouble, and
Johnson had to figure out what he was going to do with
them. Blake watched his father’s face morph from
shock to anger, fear, and finally curiosity.
“How did this happen? What are you doing here?
Just wait until we get home, by golly…”
Blake grinned. “Yeah, about the ‘going home’
part, dad. I don’t suppose you can just head back,
maybe drop us off on Planet Earth so we can do our punishment
at home? We should probably be grounded for a whole
week, heh heh.” Blake tried to make his father
laugh the way he’d been able to do many times
in the past when he’d been caught breaking the
rules. But as could be expected here, Commander Johnson
was not in any position to giggle at that moment –
at anything. Meghan stared at her toes and didn’t
say a word, until finally she managed to squeak out:
“It was my fault, dad. I was trying to check the
This made Horace explode. “Are you the ship’s
mechanic? No! You should be in school right now learning
to, I don’t know, count or something!”
Blake couldn’t pass up this opportunity. “Actually
Horace, it’s still August. School doesn’t
start ‘til next week.”
Navigators on any ship in the universe don’t enjoy
being corrected by anybody, least of all their commander’s
smart-alec kids. Horace paused, considered throwing
the stowaways out the hatch into space, but then remembered
that they were not just stowaways, they were his boss’s
children. Nobody would be thrown out the hatch today.
#3 (255 words)
quite uneasy driving further away from the Settlement.
She knew she needed to drive faster if she wanted to
outrun the sandstorm, but she had promised her father
not to make the dune buggy go faster than 50 kilometers
per hour. However, that was before there was any chance
of losing Blake to a mysterious hole in the ground.
Looking at the speedometer on the dashboard, she could
see that the dune buggy could go as fast as 250 kilometers
per hour. She didn’t know how fast that was in
miles, but she was pretty sure it would get her one
heck-of-a speeding ticket back home on Earth. Of course,
nine year-olds weren’t supposed to be driving
vehicles at any speed back home. But they weren’t
on Earth, they were on Mars. There were no highways
or stop signs. Or rules.
Meghan didn’t know where they were headed, but
it appeared she had no choice but to trust the stranger.
He pointed off to the distance, and she steered. She
decided to push the vehicle a bit faster. The ground
was bumpy, but the dune buggy seemed to easily bounce
over the rocks, bumps and mini craters. As she became
more confident, she drove faster. As she thought about
rescuing her brother, she drove faster still. With no
landmarks close by, she wasn’t able to judge her
speed until she glanced down at the speedometer to see
the needle moving past 200 kilometers per hour. My dad’s
going to kill me, she thought.
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