The Finisher by David Baldacci. Scholastic, 2014, 497 pages. Reading level: Young Adults, 15-18 Maturity level: 6 What do you get when you blend a medieval town with a bit of magic and science fiction, then add a small dose of dystopian bleakness? A place like Wormwood. Vega Jane is a teenage inhabitant of […]
During the Summer Reading Challenge, Redeemed Reader interns Amos Peck and Grace Olson, Valen Caldwell, intern at Breakpoint.org, and I –Hayley Schoeppler, Redeemed Reader’s executive assistant– got together (via Skype!) and discussed The Giver. Here are some highlights from our discussion. Summary The Giver is written by Lois Lowry . . . . The protagonist’s […]
This month we’re looking at some YA and middle-grade titles that could be described as “high-interest”: stories that grab you and don’t let go. But these two YA novels also contain some thought-provoking material–especially the first. (And speaking of “high-interest,” the movie version of Divergent opens today! See our reviews of all three titles in […]
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Feiwel and Friends, 2013. 452 pages. Age/interest level: 14-up. As a sequel, Scarlet picks up right where Cinder ended. Linh Cinder, now a fugitive fleeing New Bejiing, is struggling to accept the reality she has only just learned. . . . she wasn’t just a cyborg anymore. She was Lunar now. […]
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Square Fish, 2012. 387 pages. Age/interest level: 14-up. Linh Cinder is a teenage mechanic, the best mechanic in New Beijing. She is also a cyborg, part of her limbs robotic due to a childhood accident. Early in the story, Cinder meets Prince Kai, heir apparent of New Beijing. Kai needs […]
Dystopian fiction for middle-grades isn’t new: Lois Lowry’s The Giver is a classic of the genre. The success of The Hunger Games means similar titles for younger ages would be showing up soon. These two are good examples, even though each comes with a little twist–the first stirs in a generous measure of magic, and […]
The Hungry Cities Chronicles, by Philip Reeve: Mortal Engines (2001), Predator’s Gold (2003), Infernal Devices (2005), A Darkling Plain (2006). Harper Collins. Age/interest level: 14-up. If I were idly browsing shelves, I would pass these books right by. The old-style sci-fi jackets picturing flying machines skimming over alien landscapes, not to mention the genre (dystopia—not […]
Yesterday on our site, we offered a review of both book and movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But of course, it’s not the first time Janie and I have written about dark fiction that appeals to teenagers. There is my review of A Clockwork Orange as part of my autobiography-in-books series, Janie’s post […]
In the summer of 1945, George Orwell wrote a review for the Manchester Evening News, beginning, “On the whole, novels are better when there are no miracles in them.” That said, he was ready to give a grudging thumbs-up to C. S. Lewis’s latest, which completed the cycle begun with Out of the Silent Planet […]
Divergent, by Veronica Roth. Katherine Tegan Books (HarperCollins), 2011, 487 pages. Age/interest level: 14-up. There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my […]
Part One. Part Two. What’s the problem with a glut of grim, futurist fiction on the YA bookshelves? Maybe nothing. Youth is resilient, and most young people are smart enough to know that fiction is fiction. If their reading is balanced, and they get out in the fresh air often enough, no harm done. Too […]
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