Monday, August 9, 2010

Maze Runner - Young Adult

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Audio version)
A co-worker of my husband's recommended this book to me after learning that I enjoyed "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. He also happens to be friends with the author. Although this book hasn't made my "books I must own" list yet, (as the Hunger Games books have) it was an intriguing read.
"The Maze Runner" is like "The Hunger Games" meets "Lord of the Flies" with a little bit of "Lost" mixed in. It's about a group of boys who, one by one, get dropped into the middle of a maze without any memory of who they are, where they come from or what happened to get them here. They just remember a name. The main character, who remembers the name Thomas, shows up one day in "the box" with no memory, surrounded by a group of teenage boys. These boys have created a society in which they survive together by each doing their part. Some boys are cooks, some are farmers, some slaughter the animals, and all of these groups have new terms the boys made up to describe their job occupation like Sloppers. But one elite group of boys are called "Runners". These "Runners" enter the maze daily making it back to their homestead, called "The Glade", before nightfall when the "Doors" close. The "Doors" are huge walls that move into place closing off the maze for the night where disturbing mechanical creatures called "Grievers" roam. The point of the "Runners" is to solve the maze. Each day they go out in hopes to discover the answer, and each day they return to the Glade to map out their findings. As the walls in the maze move every night, they attempt to find patterns to help them solve how to get out of the maze. If they are caught outside the "Doors" at night, they are stuck with the "Grievers" and are considered dead. Coming in contact with the "Grievers" either means death or being "stung". If you're "stung" you go through a painful process called "The Changing" where you regain some of your memories before they fade and you experience some insanity. Of course, no one has ever survived a night outside in the maze and no one has been willing to talk about what they remember after going through the "Changing". No one, until Thomas. He's different somehow and after surviving a night in the maze in hopes of saving one of the other boys who got stuck out there he eventually rises quickly through the ranks to make it as a Runner. One day after Thomas arrives ,a girl arrives in the "box" with a message that everything is about to change. Somehow she triggers "The Ending", and when the sun goes out and the "Doors" stop closing, the "Grievers" begin to pick everyone off one by one. After 2 years of searching the maze before Thomas even arrived, they have to solve the maze now or face the grievers but those who have gone through the "Changing" seem to believe that the real world is much worse than the maze they live in.
I listened to the audio version of this book. The speaker was extraordinary with his ability to give each boy, aka "Glader", a voice of his own. The author provided a very descriptive story with a lot of mystery and questions unanswered which works just fine considering "The Maze Runner" is the first of three books to come out. The end of the book leaves you wanting to know more about "what happened to the world Thomas and the other boys came from?" and of course "who built the maze and why?" I'll be looking forward to reading the future books.
-Erica S

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Now is your chance to join a book club! Check out this month's fun, wholesome book club meetings. Sign up and check out now at the reference desk!

For moms and daughters, this month's selection is "Esperanza Rising" by Pam Munoz Ryan. We will be meeting on Thursday, November 12th at 7PM.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict by Trenton L. Stewart is about 4 very bright children that are chosen by a man named Mr. Benedict to help him with a dangerous mission. They each have their own strengths and talents that make them perfect for their new job. They go undercover to a school for the gifted and discover an evil plot to take over the world.
I enjoyed this book because each child was so unique and it was fun to watch them solve their problems. Although it is a children's book and I thought I had it pretty well figured out, it still surprised me. It would be very good for kids who like to solve problems, especially codes. Lots of code breaking.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kenny & the Dragon
by Tony DiTerlizzi
151 pages

A young rabbit named Kenny becomes friends with a dragon named Grahame - "just like the cracker, except with an 'e' at the end." Soon after, the townsfolk discover the dragon and are determined to exterminate it. Kenny must find a way to save his new friend despite his nervousness and "river-stone-in-the-stomach feeling."

This is a great read-aloud for children of all ages, and a quick read for adults and older children. My 10 and 8 year olds read this in less than 2 hours. It's a cute story and the illustrations are fantastic.
I read FOUND by Margaret Peterson Haddix
FOUND is the first book in the Missing Series.
Jonah and Chip never hung around together until they learn they have something in common, being adopted. When they receive mysterious letters and their parents do not have a lot of information about where they came from. Jonah and Chip go looking for answers by themselves. What they find makes wonder if they should wish they could return to being normal thirteen-year-old boys playing basketball in the driveway.
I have read many science fiction/fantasy/mystery books. Lot of the books I have read you can guess what is going to happen. With FOUND that is not the case.FOUND is an exciting book to read Margaret Haddix keeps you in suspense. Just when you think you have it figured out she takes you by surprise. I am excited to see what mystery She has next for us.The second book in the Missing Series is SENT it should come this fall Aug/Sept.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, the first book in the series “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is a fun and educational journey for most of the family. Although it is classified as a young adult novel, my husband and I (in our 30s) as well as our seven year old son thoroughly enjoyed it. This story tells of our young hero, Percy Jackson, who has ADHD and dyslexia and has never lasted more than one year at any school. He soon comes to find out that this is because his father is one of the Greek gods, who are still alive and well and producing half-blood children. If I were to tell much more, it would spoil the plot. I encourage you to read this humorous and exciting tale of friendship and learning to believe in oneself. There is some violence (mostly fighting monsters) but none of it was graphic; I would consider it a PG rating. I also enjoyed teaching my son about Greek mythology as we encountered different gods and monsters throughout the book. Submitted by Julia Beckham
Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy – Ally Carter

This young adult novel by Ally Carter is a delightful, fun read. Cammie Morgan attends a school that on the outside seems like a 200 year old mansion. Inside, however, is a maze of twists, turns and rooms that unveils as a school to train future spies. Classes aren’t just geography and world cultures, but also classes in Covert Operations with surprise “pop quizzes.” While she has been attending this school for a while, her life is turned upside-down when this all-girls school suddenly has the unthinkable happen. Fifteen boys are invited to attend the school. Suddenly, Cammie has to figure out how to maintain her spy appearance with boys who may be better spies than she is. This is the second book in the series and continues to follow the same sort of twists and turns as the first book, I’d Tell You I Love You, But then I’d Have to Kill You.
-- Eric Ferrin