MIKE STELLAR: NERVES OF STEEL, by K.A. Holt (Random House 2009)(ages 8+). Some time in the future, Mike Stellar gets the unwelcome news that his family is moving to Mars. Tomorrow. On only the second Mars mission, after the first failed (and which his parents might've been responsible for). About the only good part is that he'll be leaving his hated teacher, Mrs. Halebopp, behind.
Once on board the Sojourner, Mike meets an odd girl, Larc, his parents' weird assistant, aka, Mr. Honey Bear, and discovers that Mrs. Halebopp is there, too! Throw in a conspiracy to sabotage the mission, and Mike will truly need nerves of steel to get to the bottom of it all.
MIKE STELLAR is a clever and fun middle grade adventure, both funny and action-packed. Altogether, an excellent debut novel.