Project Mercury (Hardcover)

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Project Mercury By Ronald L. Smith Cover Image


Thirteen-year-old Ike Pressure is used to moving around and starting over. He's an Army brat—and no, that's not an insult, he'll be the first to tell you. He's proud of his mom, who's a U.S. Army Specialist, and he's used to being the new kid at school.

But when Eesha Webb and her family arrive in Mercury, Nevada, the location of the latest base the Pressures call home, everything changes. The Webbs are old family friends, and the grown-ups all expect Ike and Eesha to be instant besties, just like when they were little. Ike doubts someone as outgoing and athletic as Eesha would want to hang out with him, and he's not so sure he wants to be stuck with her, either. The reunion is . . . awkward, to say the least. The truth is, they have absolutely nothing in common.

Nothing . . . except for the fact that neither of them have any idea what their parents actually do on the base, even though they've asked. It's clear something top secret is happening there, but what could it be? Eesha is convinced it has to do with aliens, but Ike is skeptical—until a terrifying run-in with some Men in Black changes his mind. What the kids don't know is that the stakes are actually much higher than alien encounters. Ike's mom is in danger—and along with her, a mission to avert their planet from environmental disaster. Will Ike and Eesha be able to get over their differences and work together to unravel the secrets of Project Mercury and save Ike's mom before it's too late?

About the Author

Ronald L. Smith is the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award–winning author of several acclaimed novels for young readers, including Hoodoo, The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away, Gloom Town, Where the Black Flowers Bloom, and the Black Panther: The Young Prince seriesHe lives in Baltimore, Maryland. To learn more, visit

Praise For…

(Where the Black Flowers Bloom) "Inspired by African mythology and folklore, this lushly wrought hero’s journey touches deftly on themes of family, fate, forgiveness, and justice." — Publishers Weekly

(Where the Black Flowers Bloom) "Elaborate worldbuilding will draw readers in. . . . Hand this to young readers seeking adventurous new fantasy." — School Library Journal

(The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away) "Smith continues to be one of the most distinct and impressive voices in middle-grade speculative fiction right now." — Booklist

(The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away) "A tightly plotted novel full of suspense and compassion with a climax that will chill readers straight to the bone." — Horn Book Magazine

(Gloom Town) "This atmospheric tale by Smith (The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away) conjures up a seaside setting full of secrets and long-lost legends....the intriguing characters, eerie moments, and lurking peril prove a winning combination." — Publishers Weekly

(Gloom Town) "Anchoring this well-paced story is a solid cast of characters whose central relationships feel authentic and grounded." — Kirkus Reviews

(Black Panther: The Young Prince) "Energetic, fast-paced and adventurous, this will keep readers riveted . . . a must purchase." — School Library Journal

(Hoodoo) "A riveting story with a dollop of southern gothic appeal." — Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063318557
ISBN-10: 0063318555
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: August 6th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English