Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel

Things are not so stellar for Mike Stellar. He is stunned when his parents inform him that he has only eight hours to pack before they move to Mars. Despite the fact that he suspects his parents are involved in a major sabotage plot; that the only person who believes him is a girl who won’t shut up; and that his mother’s assistant seems to be spying on Mike’s every move, Mike is dealing with the same things that every eleven-year-old deals with: bad cafeteria food, a strict limitation on his electronic use, and a teacher who is so old-fashioned she must be from the year 2099.


“Holt’s children’s book debut whizzes by at warp speed—the suspenseful plot and the precocious yet complex hero combine for a fun ride with a satisfying resolution.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Readers will enjoy watching Mike work his way through both muddled feelings and adult secrets with savvy sleuthing, sharp observation and courage in the clutch.”


“Few people are what they seem to be, and there is humor as well as adventure in this futuristic tale. Middle school and junior high readers will enjoy Mike’s smart-alecky tone and his brave-despite-himself adventures in space.”

Children’s Literature

“Holt deftly blends the fantastical technology with objects from our contemporary world, and she fills out the exciting, if somewhat complicated story with smoothly integrated humor. Sci-fi fans who enjoy reading about a future world filled with laughs will enjoy this.”


Awards and Honors

  • Nominee for the 2014 Connecticut Library Association Nutmeg Book Award
  • Nominee for the 2013 Maud Hart Lovelace Award
  • Scholastic.com Great Summer Read for Tweens, 2009
  • Named a Random House Fresh Fiction from New Voices book for Summer 2009.
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