Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gone, by Michael Grant

A group of English teachers on twitter suggested Gone for my male students who have a hard time finding books that they can get into. I think that a lot of my boys would have gotten into this book, I just wish it was shorter! It seems that no matter how great I make a book sound in a booktalk, length is what gets them every time. I'll have to think of a really great way to sell this series to them so they can overlook the sheer volume of it!

Anyway, Gone is the beginning of a series that chronicles the lives of kids in Perdido Beach, CA. One day, while they're going about their normal lives, all adults and teens over the age of 15 just disappear from existence, in front of their eyes. They begin calling it the "poof," and the remains of the population - all kids under the age of 15 - struggle to make sense of what it might mean, and how to make do in a world without adults. Even worse than the adult disappearance factor, a towering wall with no visible breaking point has trapped them within their town - there's no way out. On top of that, there are animals with strange mutations, like coyotes that can talk, out to get the kids.

Protagonist Sam takes the lead as the stereotypical "good guy", and is rivaled by a vigilante seeming "bad kid" Caine, from nearby Coates Academy. Sam and Caine both possess superhuman powers, which they discover that many others among them also have. But the two boys are more connected than they initially think - I'll let you figure out how :) - and the novel becomes a bully vs. nice kid all-out war for control of the area, which they call "The FAYZ".

I can't wait to read more of the series, or to recommend it to kids next year!

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