I do not recall many details about the story, however I do remember that there was a girl who was traveling (with her family maybe?) for quite a long time through space to find a new home. I believe there were multiple families aboard the spacecraft and, as I recall, their journey took several generations.

My most vivid memory of the book was when they arrived at what they thought was a suitable planet. They were looking for somewhere to settle and recolonize. The girl had on protective gear (including heavy "space boots") when she stepped out onto what appeared to be purple grass; the grass crunched under her feet like it was made of glass. She wore a helmet at first, but then realized that the atmosphere was suitable for humans). I seem to remember that she walked down the ship's plank alone, and may have even been the first to set foot on the planet. She started exploring the planet (again, I feel like she may have done this alone, but I really am not 100% sure) and eventually came across a strange village (although my memory of the explorations, finding the village, and everything after are unfortunately too hazy). I do remember, though, that when they initially found the planet, one of the factors that led them to determine that it might be a suitable planet is that they thought it was uninhabited.

I read this book in the early '90s in middle school - I believe it was required reading. I can't remember anything about the cover or binding. However, I do believe it was not a newly published work at that time. To my young adolescent brain, it felt like a "classic".

I have been looking for quite some time to no avail. I have asked a number of friends who are librarians and/or teachers, but no one seems to know the book.

I did see a similar question on here asking about a story with purple grass, and green/red skies & rivers. What is described does sound promising. However, I was unable to definitively locate my mystery story in the stories suggested in this previous question's answer.

Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks so much!

UPDATE: A few more possible details... I mentioned a "strange" village. I believe she thought it was strange by the way the houses looked. They were almost like large honey-colored pods. All in a row on either side of a dirt road/path. She did not see anyone at first in the village, so hesitantly began looking around. She eventually stumbled upon someone; I believe it may have been a native boy about her age. Although I cannot be certain, I believe he began to help her in some way, while keeping her existence secret from the others in his village -- I do not know how long, if at all, this secrecy lasted, or what he was "helping" her with. Like I mentioned before, my recollection of this is all very hazy.

  • Welcome to the site. You might have better luck finding an answer with some more details, such as, when did you read this book? In what language and country?
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 4:42
  • Hi Laura. Welcome to StackExchange. Hopefully we can help you with your search. Are there any additional details you might be able to provide about the book in question? E.g. when did you read it? Did it seem like it was new (or old) at the time? Do you remember anything about the cover? Was it a juvenile fiction item or an adult book? You said the girl might have been traveling with her family. Was it just them? Or were they perhaps part of a larger colony ship? Any other item you can remember may help with identifying the story. Thanks.
    – beichst
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 4:45
  • Forever War series? Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 4:49
  • BTW, googling purple grass glass gives this Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 4:51
  • Or maybe Uplift series Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh?

Book cover

Pattie and her family are among the last refugees to flee a dying Earth in an old spaceship. And when the group finally lands on the distant planet which is to be their new home, it seems that the four-year journey has been a success. But as they begin to settle this shiny new world, they discover that the colony is in serious jeopardy. Nothing on this planet is edible, and they may not be able to grow food. With supplies dwindling, Pattie and her sister decide to take the one chance that might make life possible on Shine.

A longer review with more plot details can be found here.

  • Please indicate how that book matches up with the specific plot details mentioned in the question. A space voyage of many generations? Purple crunchy grass?
    – user14111
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 9:08
  • @sueelleker I looked this book up and it does sound promising. The description on Amazon stated that they only traveled for 4 years, however, I seem to remember that the heroine may have even been born on the ship -- so multiple generations had gone by since leaving earth. Four years would not be long enough, unless I am remembering that particular detail incorrectly. The texture of the grass seems about right. Do you know if the grass was purple? The color (and texture) of the grass is my most vivid memory of the story.
    – Dr. Mom
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 15:10
  • @Laura: I've updated the answer with some details. I've also requested a copy from my library. I'll see if I can get your questions answered.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 15:32
  • @Otis -- I am going to try it, but I am not sure this is it. Although the crystaline structure of the plants sounds accurate to what I remember, the color of the grass is not yet clear (and this is my most vivid memory of the book). Also, I remember a longer journey. So... may not be a duplicate.
    – Dr. Mom
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 18:11
  • Thank you @FuzzyBoots. I went a head and reserved a copy too, to see if this might be it. The details in the longer review sound so familiar. Thanks again :)
    – Dr. Mom
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 18:16

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