Review Blog

May 24 2016

MARTians by Blythe Woolston

cover image

Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406341393
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Consumerism. Dystopian fiction. Zoe Zindleman has been abandoned by her mother and the government has shut down her school. She is given the opportunity to start work at ALLMART, where 'your smile is the AllMART welcome mat'. Her house is going to be repossessed and when she meet MORTimmer, he warns her that it is not a smart idea to live in ALLMART's dormitories. Trusting him, she moves into the Warren, a deserted shopping centre where a laundromat becomes her home, shared with the little boy 5er and Timmer. Then her ordeal as an employee of ALLMART begins as she learns the ins and outs of selling in a big store.
This is a grim but totally engrossing story about consumerism gone wild told in the heart wrenching voice of Zoe, an intelligent girl. As her training progresses she realises that there is no future for her as she will always be in debt to AllMART, who charge her enormous prices for uniforms and food. As Zoe battles her way through learning about how to sell, the reader will find many familiar descriptions of different store departments and how they are set up. Equally bleak are the stories of abandoned children, whose parents have left them behind, and the stories of repossessed houses that are pulled apart for their metal, and a government that has abandoned everyone.
However there is one small glimpse of hope that Timmer gives: Look for the ones who need help and spread the good around.
This was an exceptionally thought provoking book. References were made to Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles but don't detract for those who haven't read it, and will make them want to pick it up.
This would make an ideal literature circle book or class novel with the themes of consumerism gone wild, governments who cannot help people whose homes are repossessed, unemployment, and abandoned children making for great discussion points for their relevance for today's society.
Pat Pledger

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates