Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown
There were several books titled Life on Mars. I eliminated the non-fiction books and a graphic novel to settle on this one. It is written in first person past tense through the eyes of Arty a 12-year-old boy. His real name is Arcturus Beetelgeuse Chambers. A. B. is actually the name of two stars which is cool until you find our Beetelgeuse translates as ‘armpit.’ Arty has a new neighbor who is so unfriendly he is sure the man is either a face-eating zombie or a serial killer. They become friends. So is there someone in your life who is overly: mean, angry, sad, unfriendly, unhappy, grumpy? Maybe they are a grandparent or an aunt or uncle or a parent or a teacher? Have you ever thought something might have made them that way? Maybe there is a question you could ask that might show there is another side to their life. Suggested questions follow:
What was school like when you were my age?
Did you have a favorite subject, teacher, pet …?
What was your first job?
What would you suggest as I look for my first job?
They might tell you to go away or they might talk to you. No promises. However, for most people their favorite subject is themselves.