This month’s theme is self-published books by homeschooled authors. It’s a repeat theme from last January, but all new books.
“The real world won’t accept me, ma’am. I won’t sign the file.”
The pressure on Philadelphia, her father, and the other Christian’s in their tiny compound is growing. In the government school for Christians, the children are offered an opportunity to be adopted into “normal” families. Philadelphia refuses. She is shocked when she returns home and told by her father that she should have accepted. He’s received word that his services are needed on Mars. The summons is not optional, and Philadelphia is not allowed to accompany him. Mars. The same place her brother went and never returned.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started this book, but it had me hooked from the very beginning. Sci-fi isn’t usually my thing, but stories of persecuted Christians always intrigue and challenge me. So, persecuted Christians on Mars? Why not? When Christians talk about reclaiming the sci-fi genre from the largely amoral path it has taken, this is the type of book their talking about. Who knows. If more Christians pop up on Mars, I might become a regular reader of sci-fi. 😉
Her teeth chattered. “I don’t care about being free. I want things to be normal. I’ve looked for the paper enough.”
In a futuristic society, everyone has a microchip implanted in the back of their heads. There is only one exception to the rule. When her home was destroyed, Monica barely escaped with her life. Now a wall slave serving the higher class nobles, Monica represents the slaves only hope for freedom. But being a chipless slave has its downsides. Monica must continuously risk her life on missions she doesn’t even understand. Will her courage fail when she faces her biggest challenge yet?
My favorite part of this story was the way Monica struggles with the risks she is asked to make, yet always ends up making the right choice. At the beginning of the story she takes the risks because she is given no option, but as the story progresses she becomes more and more proactive. My main frustration was the fact that Monica moves around so much that there is no consistency in the supporting cast. The ending opens the door for the inclusion of more overt Christian themes in book two. Overall I have no complaints about inappropriate content and will be keeping my eyes open for a copy of book two.
P.S. The cover of this book looks like it’s some kind of creepy, haunted ghost story or something. At least it does to me. Don’t worry. It’s not. 😉
Author: Amanda L. Davis
Audience: Tweens to Young Adults
Good morning everyone! We have a slight change in plans. Jill Williamson’s book Captives was on the schedule to be reviewed today, but, as you can tell from the title, I’m breaking away from the schedule. My dear sister-friend, Melody, recently asked me if I planned to review her favorite dystopian novel, The Giver. It had totally slipped my mind when I planned the schedule. When I asked Melody if she would be willing to review The Giver she graciously agreed. So, here you are. Enjoy. (P.S. The quote should sound familiar. If you know what I mean, you can take credit for it. ;))
“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”
Jonas’ world is perfect. From birth until the day of their Release, every member of his Community moves through life following the same patterns of progression and change that have been in place for generations before them; patterns which keep them safe and contented. But when Jonas is selected to be the new Receiver of Memory, he steps into an entirely new world – one full of experiences and realities he never knew existed. As he receives the memories that have been passed down through generations of Receivers, Jonas must learn how to handle the experiences of the world, and he must decide what affect they will have on his life…as well as on the lives of the Community around him.
When I first found The Giver sitting inconspicuously dwarfed by two other Newbery Award-winning books on my schoolroom shelf, I never imagined for a moment what an incredible book I was in for. The Giver draws you in from the very first sentence, and continues to surprise and please all through to the end. The story is intriguing and entertaining – partially because of the dystopian society presented, but partially
because of the characters’ lovable personalities. You will identify with and root for Jonas all the way through! The book is a fairly easy read, although once you reach the end you will be very glad to know that there are three sequels! Overall, The Giver is a classic that is worth re-reading over and over again – which is why I was thrilled a few years back when Leah gave me a copy signed by the author herself. It remains one of my all-time favorite books!
Author: Lowis Lowry
Audience: Tweens–Young Adult
By the way, I just realized that I completely missed announcing the winner of the book giveaway yesterday. Sorry about that! I’ll do it tomorrow.
This months giveaway is a copy of The City of Ember. To tell the truth, the reason for the dystopian theme this month is because I had an extra copy of the book to give away. 😛 As usual, the giveaway is only open to residents of the US because of shipping expenses. (I’m hoping to post a poll soon to see how many of you have e-readers so that I can look into a giveaway that could include my international readers.) To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below saying why you want to read The City of Ember or why you enjoy the dystopian genre.
The box ended up at the back of a closet, shoved behind some old bags and bundles. There it sat, unnoticed, year after year, until its time arrived, and the lock quietly clicked open.
The city of Ember is an island of light in the middle of the great, unknown darkness. But the light is failing. Tension among the citizens grows as the store rooms begin to run out of essential items and the electricity threatens to fail at any moment. Hope seems lost until young Lina finds ancient instructions and recruits classmate Doon to help her figure them out. Can they save the people of Ember before it’s too late?
Shortly after this book was suggested to me I found a copy at the library’s used book store. Curious, I purchased it and took it home to read. I discovered a sweet story about determination, friendship, and hope during difficult times. The story was easy to read and I found the ending satisfying despite a few story threads left open for the sequels. I chose not to read the sequels because of an apparent anti-religious theme in book three. That said, there is no objectionable content in this book, and readers in search of a gentle dystopian read will find it enjoyable.
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Audience: Middle Grade to Young Adults
Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of this book!
Great, Trey thought. I do one brave thing in my entire life, and now it’s like, ‘Got anything dangerous to do? Send Trey. He can handle it.’ Doesn’t anyone remember that Cowardice is my middle name?
In the world Trey lives in, families are only allowed to have two children. Third children–shadow children–live in fear of being killed if they are discovered. Right after saving the life of Lee, another shadow child, Trey finds himself launched into another adventure. Lee is still in danger, and Trey joins forces with Lee’s brother, Mark, to try to rescue him. But when the Population Police catch Mark, Trey must come up with a new plan of action. Will he be able to rescue his friends? Or will his actions put all the shadow children at risk?
Among the Brave is book five in the Shadow Children series. Each book can be read separately, but I would recommend starting at book one and working forward. I chose to review this one because it happens to be my favorite. It took me a while to understand the world the shadow children live in, but after reading two books I realized that the population control concept is pretty similar to the one used in China. After making that comparison, the books made much more sense. All of the characters are relatable, and you’ll find yourself rooting for the third children as they fight to overturn the Population Police and win a place as legal citizens.
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Audience: Tween to Young Adult
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