greenbookThe Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh, 1982.

The story takes place at an indeterminate time in the future. Earth is dying as the sun grows dimmer. The only hope for humans is to find new homes on other planets. In one of the last ships to leave Earth is a father and his three children: Joe, Sarah, and Pattie. They can take very little with them, only a few practical things, a couple of small keepsakes, and a single book each.

The journey to their new planet takes years, and people quickly go through their own books. Pattie, who is very young, brings a blank book with a green cover, which the others criticize and tease her about.  What use is a book with nothing in it that you can’t even read?

When they finally arrive on their new planet, everything is strange. The native plants seem to have a glass-like quality which makes them sharp, shiny, and dangerous to eat. Their guide came equipped with a set of rules to help them get their colony established, but soon they run out of rules and are completely on their own. Survival is a constant struggle, and everything involves a new discovery.

At first, it seems like they aren’t going to make it, but the children’s willingness to take a chance saves the day. Also, the little green book that Pattie brought gives the colonists hope. As they have exhausted all the old stories, she provides them with the first new one on their new world.

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