Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays

Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays

Got the boring essay blues? Well, current authors of young adult and middle grade books take aim at humdrum school essays as the writers set essays free from traditional 5-paragraph format in response to a variety of common prompts in this new collection.

Read "Princess Leia is an Awesome Role Model" by Cecil Castellucci and see if she truly does "compare and contrast two characters from the same story" as per her assignment, then follow along as Ned Vizzini argues intelligently about "Why We Need Tails" as the best trait we could steal from animals.

Dip into an author's personal history as Elizabeth Winthrop recounts "My Life Before Television" in a before and after essay and Laurel Snyder writes about "a time a friend helped" her with "A Good Lie." Ransom Riggs shares "Camp Dread, or How to Survive a Shockingly Awful Summer" as a time he had to do something he really didn't want to do.

Chris Higgins argues with himself quite convincingly, writing both the title essay "Breakfast on Mars: Why We Should Colonize the Red Planet" as well as its rebuttal "Robots Only: Why We Shouldn't Colonize Mars."

For the essay prompt of "Take a belief that is widely accepted, and then debunk it" Scott Westerfeld gives us fair "Warning: This Essay Does Not Contain Pictures" in discussing why modern novels have no pictures as they did in Dickens' day.

Nick Abadsiz remakes the classic "if you could change one moment in history" essay by drawing his responses as "Laika Endings" about the Russian cosmonaut dog.

Improve your own non-fiction writing range, get glimpses into the real lives and opinions of fiction authors, and learn some neat stuff along the way as you consider Breakfast on Mars.

Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at

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