Friday, June 11, 2021

Review: Harvest Season by Christopher Bodmann

Happy Friday! Today on Bookworm for Kids, I'm going to have a bit of an Indie science fiction day. I have a pair of exciting reads, which go to space and beyond...both in intriguing ways. The first one is aimed for slightly older readers and is one of those books, which doesn't twist quite in the usual, expected way.

So, let's blast off and see where today takes us! 

by Christopher Bodmann
Upper Middle Grade/ YA Science Fiction
201 pages
ages 10 to 16

Marigold Miller was a remarkably smart girl growing up in poverty. All she wanted was to make a difference in the world. With her older sister dead from coronavirus, her father suffering from a traumatic brain injury, and her mother abandoning the family, Marigold had her hands full, and she believed her station in life was set at the bottom. But when she finds her sister in an abandoned factory - still the same age as when she died - Marigold is launched into an adventure beyond her wildest imagination. She discovers the truth about life in the galaxy and realizes she is the only hope to save humanity from an alien civilization bent on taking over planet Earth. Along the way, Marigold learns about herself, why her gifts are important, and why everyone deserves at least a chance to prove their own worth.



Heart and sincerity meet nanobots and aliens in a read, which leaves deep thoughts about humanity, life and the universe.

Marigold has a tough life since her mother left them and her older sister died of an illness, which has her father mentally off-balance. Struggling to keep life going while attending school, her main concern is just to keep her father alive and them fed. When something crashes into an abandoned warehouse nearby, she discovers something which appears to be her sister. Although it's impossible that this girl is truly her sister, Marigold decides to help her. But as two strange men start to chase them, and the girl fights to regain her memory, Marigold slowly discovers that she's landed in something larger than she could have ever dreamed...and that the existence of humanity is at stake.

While this one is sold for upper middle graders, I'd recommend it to the older end and head right into the young adult audience. This is a book, which dives into action with high-stakes, but also one which heads in a deeper direction with the intention of leaving more than a little food for thought. Marigold is definitely a character root for, and the author gives her tons of depth, not only in the first chapters. The chapters flip-flop between the real-time adventure of Marigold trying to help 'her sister' escape the aliens hunting her and Marigold's past life, showing the moments which meant the most to her. It makes for a deep and yet action-packed read.

This is one of those wonderful science fiction reads, which twists and turns and leaves off in a very unexpected way. The questions of humanity's worth in the universe as well as the importance of family and love come to play. While reading this, I wondered why the author was constantly flipping between the main plot of the chase and Marigold's past, since the more and more the book went on, this constant use of flashbacks seemed increasingly detached. But the ending does round everything off masterfully well. It's just the reader has to wait for the connection, and this is something I'm not sure middle graders will have the patience for. Young adults will love it, though.

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