The Martian is a very good movie, the book is terrific, and I recommend both to you. Astronaut Mark Watney has been left behind accidentally, on Mars, when his crew thought he died in a hurricane force sandstorm.
He did not die and now has to figure out how to survive, until the next mission from Earth comes back to Mars in four years, on just
-days supply of food.
The story is a great metaphor for life, the constant need to overcome obstacles and the will and ingenuity to do so. Someone once said that the two highest forms of intelligence are figuring things out and thinking things up. This story is full of both.
Mark's greatest challenge is to resist just giving up in the face of apparently insurmountable obstacles. As he observes, "At some point, everything's going to go south on you....you can either accept that, or you can get to work."
I think part of what makes this such a great story is our innately human capacity to risk everything to save even one individual. The story of the people back home trying to rescue Mark is equally engaging. Mark and they persist with humor, courage and a lot of luck. And they have many setbacks, sound familiar?
This story is also great for making science interesting to kids. Watch for the PG-13 warning label. I saw it with one of my 13-year-olds, and we both really enjoyed it. The Wall Street Journal called it the "purest example of
sci-fi for many years...utterly compelling."
I agree and hope you will enjoy it too.