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I read a series of books when I was in middle school about a kid who lived on a Mars colony, and since he was paraplegic (or handicapped in some way, I don't remember exactly to what extent, I'm pretty sure he was in a wheelchair), he was the only one who could control rovers on the exterior (I think everyone mostly stayed inside). He was constantly having to fix stuff that broke down by controlling the rover with his mind.

I vaguely remember at one point he was kidnapped and taken to Earth for some reason, I think he also might have met other paraplegic kids who could control rovers with their minds? It's all very hazy but I remember liking the series. I think there might have been some overt religious tones to the book, I think his parent were Christians or something. Has anyone read this series? I probably read these around 2000-2002 but the books themselves might have been older.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! Do you remember any details of the cover art? Were there any illustration inside? Was the colony a series of habitats, a dome or underground? Any other details you can remember about the books themselves (number, paperback or hardcover) or the setting can help.
    – DavidW
    Aug 11, 2021 at 16:28

2 Answers 2

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Sounds like it might be The Mars Diaries by Sigmund Brouwer

Tyce Sanders: The first person ever born on Mars, Tyce's legs are paralyzed because of an experimental surgery when he was one Earth year old, the same surgery that allows him to control a robot directly through his nervous system.

Found with a search for ya science fiction handicapped man mars rover

The kidnapping may have happened either in Mission 6: Moonracer or Mission 7: Countdown, as the summary for Mission 7: Countdown is:

A Military Prison in the wild Florida Everglades holds Tyce, his dad, and Ashley hostage. With only six days left to rescue the kids at the secret Institute, they must find a way out. But who can they trust with Terrataker infiltrators everywhere?. And how will they get back in time to save Tyce's dad?

Mission 8: Robot War seems to involve a "Secret Institute" with 23 children who can control machinery and thereby advance the Terrataker's plan to conquer the world.

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  • Yup that's it! Thanks so much
    – Rick D
    Aug 12, 2021 at 17:18
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This sounds like it's probably Mars Diaries: Missions by Sigmund Brouwer; the series of 10 books were published between 2000 and 2002.

The Goodreads page for the first book Oxygen Level Zero has the following description:

Set at an experimental community on Mars in the year 2039, the Mars Diaries feature 14-year-old virtual reality specialist Tyce Sanders. Life on the red planet is not always easy, but it is definitely exciting. As Tyce explores his strange surroundings, he finds that the mysteries of the planet point to his greatest discovery-a new relationship with God. Mission 1: Oxygen Level Zero

The science station is in trouble. Oxygen is leaking out of the dome, and the scientists and techies are stumped. Fourteen-year-old Tyce Sanders holds the key to the mystery. But will he discover it in time to save those who live under the dome?

Some of the reviews note that Tyce lost the use of his legs in an accident, and that he controls a robot to save the colony.

Cover of The Mars Diaries: Mission 1, Oxygen Level Zero

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