Monday, August 6, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 is written by a new author, this is her debut novel and she has hit a homerun with this book. The story starts out with two brothers on their way to school. It is a typical morning with both boys getting onto the school bus. What starts out normal quickly turns to a crisis when enormous hail starts to hit the bus causing major damage. Luckily the bus driver brings them to safety by driving into a superstore. Suddenly, these kids- some high school, some in elementary school and some just primary children are stuck inside this huge superstore. They must learn to survive on their own. The news they hear from outside the store isn't good. Environmental conditions are worsening and the kids stuck inside are not sure what to do. The story is told from the perspective of Dean, a 15 year old who doesn't really fit in with the 'cool' group of school. Of course some of those cool kids are stuck inside with him and this causes a lot of tension. Watching the way the kids take on the various roles is familiar from books like The Maze Runner, and Trapped. It is always interesting to see what personality traits comes out in situations like this. Monument 14 was a really exciting read and I couldn't wait to see
how it was all going to end. Most of this book would be appropriate for grades 6 and up. There is a bit of mature content, so I would read it first to make sure it is appropriate for your class. It is a good read.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

The Forsaken is a book that was getting lots of buzz on twitter a while ago so I picked it up based on many recommendations. It is a great dystopian novel. It reminds me a bit of The Maze Runner. Alenna is living in a world called UNA- a nation that was created by joining Canada, United States and Mexido. Her parents were taken away from her when she was 10 and she was then raised by the State. At 16, all children from the UNA are 'tested' to uncover subversive tendencies. Much to Alenna's surprise, she is set to the wheel- a place where kids are sent who fail the test. There life is all about survival. Alenna meets some very interesting people there, some she trusts, some she doesn't. The one she is drawn to the most is Liam- someone who is a hunter and a fighter. As Aleena learns the way of life in the wheel, she discovers that she has strengths she didn't know she had. I really enjoyed this story. Alenna is a great character and the society that Stasse created was quite interesting. Anyone who enjoys alternative reality novels will enjoy this one!