Journey Between Worlds

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Overview

Eighteen-year-old Melinda Ashley never wanted to go to Mars. she had her life all planned out—marry ross and become a teacher. but when her estranged father convinces her to take an interplanetary vacation, she finds herself tempted to leave behind her comfortable existence on earth. Mars isn’t at all what she expected, and when she meets Alex preston, a second-generation Martian colonist, she finds herself on a surprising new path. sylvia engdahl’s classic novel has been revised and updated by the author to ...
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Journey Between Worlds

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Overview

Eighteen-year-old Melinda Ashley never wanted to go to Mars. she had her life all planned out—marry ross and become a teacher. but when her estranged father convinces her to take an interplanetary vacation, she finds herself tempted to leave behind her comfortable existence on earth. Mars isn’t at all what she expected, and when she meets Alex preston, a second-generation Martian colonist, she finds herself on a surprising new path. sylvia engdahl’s classic novel has been revised and updated by the author to reflect new discoveries and research about Mars.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janet L. Rose
Melinda does not want to travel to Mars but her father is ecstatic and convinced this is a perfect graduation presen—plus his business wants to open a branch there. Melinda would be content to live in her grandmother's house on the beach, marry her high school sweetheart, and raise children the old fashioned way. She will endure this trip for her father but return to Earth and a normal existence within a year. On the voyage to Mars she meets Alex, who was born on Mars and is returning after a year of college on Earth. He wants her to see that it is more than a scientific experiment. She is bound and determined to find it a miserable place to live, and insists that the colonists are provincial, and New Terra is a waste of valuable funds. To pass the time, she takes college courses, socializes with her father's colleagues and Alex's family, and aides in the high school. In the end, due to her love of Alex, she stays on Mars and comes to appreciate it for what it is. Inconsistencies between the actions and the emotions that are expressed, make the characters shallow and unrealistic. Alex says Melinda is brave, but she is afraid to venture outside the air-sealed domes, don a space suit, or fully experience what it means to live on Mars. Instead of learning to get along, settling new territory is the author's solution to overcrowding, pollution, and wars on Earth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399245329
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/18/2006
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvia Engdahl lives in Eugene, Oregon.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2011

    Love

    Im reading this at my school and it is awsome. Kinda boring though

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Lynn Crow for TeensReadToo

    Melinda doesn't want to go to Mars. Why leave Earth when everything humans are meant to enjoy is there? But when her father, whom she's only seen sporadically over the last ten years, asks her to join him on a business trip to one of the Mars colonies after she graduates from high school, she can't bring herself to refuse him. Little does she know her months on Mars will change the way she thinks about life, love, and humanity. With JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS, Sylvia Louise Engdahl has written a science-fiction story that will appeal to a variety of teens. Melinda faces many of the same problems today's young adults do, only in an otherworldly location. The first person narrative puts readers right inside Melinda's head and allows them to see through her eyes. Her struggle to overcome her fear of change and to examine her feelings and beliefs honestly should resonate with anyone uncertain of exactly who they are and want to be. The story, of course, is not only about Melinda, but also Mars. The descriptions of Mars and its colonies are fascinating in their detail and realism, providing an exciting setting for Melinda's personal conflicts. The colonists, with their pride and passion, will make readers wonder if they, too, would have the pioneer spirit. I would recommend JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS to any teen looking for a thought-provoking read. Unlike many science-fiction novels, this is not a story of action and technology, but rather of wonder. I'll admit, at times I wished there was more excitement, but overall it was a satisfying read. Both Melinda's problems and the issues raised by the colonization of another planet will give readers much to ponder long after they've finished reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Lynn Crow for TeensReadToo.com

    Melinda doesn't want to go to Mars. Why leave Earth when everything humans are meant to enjoy is there? But when her father, whom she's only seen sporadically over the last ten years, asks her to join him on a business trip to one of the Mars colonies after she graduates from high school, she can't bring herself to refuse him. Little does she know her months on Mars will change the way she thinks about life, love, and humanity. <BR/><BR/>With JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS, Sylvia Louise Engdahl has written a science-fiction story that will appeal to a variety of teens. Melinda faces many of the same problems today's young adults do, only in an otherworldly location. The first person narrative puts readers right inside Melinda's head and allows them to see through her eyes. Her struggle to overcome her fear of change and to examine her feelings and beliefs honestly should resonate with anyone uncertain of exactly who they are and want to be. <BR/><BR/>The story, of course, is not only about Melinda, but also Mars. The descriptions of Mars and its colonies are fascinating in their detail and realism, providing an exciting setting for Melinda's personal conflicts. The colonists, with their pride and passion, will make readers wonder if they, too, would have the pioneer spirit. <BR/><BR/>I would recommend JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS to any teen looking for a thought-provoking read. Unlike many science-fiction novels, this is not a story of action and technology, but rather of wonder. I'll admit, at times I wished there was more excitement, but overall it was a satisfying read. Both Melinda's problems and the issues raised by the colonization of another planet will give readers much to ponder long after they've finished reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    Melinda doesn't want to go to Mars. Why leave Earth when everything humans are meant to enjoy is there? But when her father, whom she's only seen sporadically over the last ten years, asks her to join him on a business trip to one of the Mars colonies after she graduates from high school, she can't bring herself to refuse him. Little does she know her months on Mars will change the way she thinks about life, love, and humanity. With JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS, Sylvia Louise Engdahl has written a science-fiction story that will appeal to a variety of teens. Melinda faces many of the same problems today's young adults do, only in an otherworldly location. The first person narrative puts readers right inside Melinda's head and allows them to see through her eyes. Her struggle to overcome her fear of change and to examine her feelings and beliefs honestly should resonate with anyone uncertain of exactly who they are and want to be. The story, of course, is not only about Melinda, but also Mars. The descriptions of Mars and its colonies are fascinating in their detail and realism, providing an exciting setting for Melinda's personal conflicts. The colonists, with their pride and passion, will make readers wonder if they, too, would have the pioneer spirit. I would recommend JOURNEY BETWEEN WORLDS to any teen looking for a thought-provoking read. Unlike many science-fiction novels, this is not a story of action and technology, but rather of wonder. I'll admit, at times I wished there was more excitement, but overall it was a satisfying read. Both Melinda's problems and the issues raised by the colonization of another planet will give readers much to ponder long after they've finished reading. **Reviewed by: Lynn Crow

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2006

    A fun look at what the future holds...

    What would it be like to live in the future where space travel is not just something people dream about but something they actually do? Melinda Ashley is graduating from high school and has her future all planned out. First a year at the University, then get married to Ross, then finish her education and become a history teacher. But first she is going to spend the summer traveling with her father who she has only seen on holidays since her mother's died when Melinda was nine. When her father arrives for graduation, the surprise destination for their trip is Mars. Melinda is less than pleased. Her dad is going on business for his company and he wants her to go. His company will pay for her ticket. When Mel tells Ross, her unofficial fiancé, about the trip they have their first fight and Mel decides to go in spite of him and because she has spent so little time with her father over the years. Seven days later Melinda and her dad are under way. On board the Susan Constant space liner, Mel's cabin mate, Janet Crane, is a biologist who is going to spend a year on Mars to get her doctorate, Janet also thinks that going to Mars is a waste of time. Not a good start for the year. Before boarding Mel and her father had met Alex Preston, who is returning to Mars after a year of studying on earth. Alex as well as Mel's father believe that space is the new frontier. Melinda spends the year being pulled in two different directions and then fate plays it's hand. Sylvia Louise Engdahl's futuristic romance is truly out of this world, her imagination remarkably accurate. An excellent book for teen and mature reader alike!

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