A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Mom shows unselfish love for her son and he learns what is special about moms.
Violence & Scariness
Moms are nabbed by Martians, but no real violence is shown. Milo and his mom almost run out of air on Mars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that all kids may enjoy this book (which was made into a movie in 2011), though it seems aimed at kids older than recommended by the publisher. Parents may need to explain the more obtuse language as well as some of the darker cartooning. Also, the idea that Martians could kidnap a kid's mother might unnerve some.
Is It Any Good?
Told in language that is clever though at times too sophisticated for small kids, this book is offbeat and captivating, and the ending is a sentimental tearjerker. Older kids may relate to Milo's unhappiness with his mother, though younger kids probably won't get it. Older kids also will enjoy the mom-nabbing attempts and the rocket ride. However, the part about why the Martians need moms seems written for parents themselves.
The cartooning has the typical fun and engaging Bloom County look for which the author is famous. The darkness of the illustrations with the first section, though intriguing, may be unsettling to younger kids. But the cartooning in the rest of the book is lighter, brighter, equally as expressive, and perhaps more entertaining. The very things that make this book complicated and uneven also may make it a book that will remain of interest through many readings.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.