"Another Heaven, Another Earth" is not quite as good as "Orvis" (the first H.M. Hoover novel republished by Starscape Books), but it's quite a nice piece of work. In fact, it's a bit misleading to classify it just as children's lit, because this book has more brains than most adult space operas.
The planet of Xilan was colonized by humans centuries ago, but their descendents remember nothing of Earth, and have no technology except an inactive ship that they don't recognize. They live in a primitive village, where lives are short and mortality rates are high, and their bodies have changed to adapt to the planet. But despite the hostility of the place, they've survived.
Then a new wave of colonists come to Xilan -- people from Earth who didn't know the Xilans were there. The Xilans are suddenly exposed to amazing technology and the promise of a future elsewhere, but they want to stay where they are -- even though the alien planet may ultimately wipe them out.
I confess that I liked this book less than "Orvis," because Orvis was simply a story, whereas this has the slightly meandering feeling of "a week in the life of a space colonist." There's a definite beginning and end, but it all goes at a pretty even pace with no highs or lows. Despite this, it's a good story and raises some intelligent questions: Should people be helped even if they don't want it? Should they be helped if they don't have the full picture? Who was right or wrong in this conflict, or was no one really in the wrong?
Hoover does a good job with the characters, though at times the colonists seem a bit too bullheaded and the primitives a little too stubborn. (Oh come on -- at least a few curious people would want to leave!) But the two lead characters are counterparts from two different civilizations, and so we get some focus on them. Lee and Gareth are actually very similar, stubborn and with the perspective of her group, yet able to see some of the viewpoint of the other side.
Hoover's writing is pretty spare and solid, not too many details. But the vision of the future seems pretty plausible, and Hoover doesn't get too caught up in trying to make it TOO futuristic. There isn't any violence, though there are some alarming images of sickness and insanity, not much profanity and no smut.
"Another Heaven, Another Earth" is a pretty good SF read in a genre (real SF for juveniles) that is one of the smallest out there. Good for kids and adults alike, as are Hoover's other books.