Space-farmer Rae Darling is kidnapped and trained to become a warrior against her own people in this adventurous middle grade space western that “will lasso readers and have them hoping for a sequel” (Booklist).
Rae Darling and her family are colonists on a moon so obscure it doesn’t merit a name. Life is hard, water is scarce, and the farm work she does is grueling. But Rae and her sister Temple are faced with an added complication—being female is a serious liability in their strict society. Even worse, the Cheese—the colonists’ name for the native people on the moon—sometimes kidnap girls from the human colony. And when Rae’s impetuous actions disrupt the fragile peace, the Cheese come for her and Temple.
Though Rae and Temple are captives in the Cheese society, they are shocked to discover a community full of kindness and acceptance. Where the human colonists subjugated women, the Cheese train the girls to become fierce warriors. Over time, Temple forgets her past and becomes one of the Cheese, but Rae continues to wonder where her loyalties truly lie. When her training is up, will she really be able to raid her former colony? Can she kidnap other girls, even if she might be recruiting them to a better life?
When a Cheese raid goes wrong and the humans retaliate, Rae’s loyalty is put to the ultimate test. Can Rae find a way to restore peace—and preserve both sides of herself?
Kari Anne Holt is the author of Gnome-a-geddon, which received a starred review from Booklist, and Red Moon Rising, which Booklist said “will lasso readers and have them hoping for a sequel.” She has also written several middle grade novels in verse including Rhyme Schemer and Brains for Lunch, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was highlighted on the Texas Library Association’s Annotated Lone Star Reading List, and Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel, a nominee for the Connecticut Library Association Nutmeg Book Award and the Maud Hart Lovelace Award. Kari has recently contributed to the anthology, Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters To Their Teen Selves. Learn more about her at KAHolt.com.