Teen’s Choice Reviews March 2014

At the end of last year I decided to start having my book club students recommend titles for me. I have each person pick three titles that they would like me to read and then I randomly select one. Here are the two Teen’s Choice books for March:

My High School book club students are a bunch of little tricksters and they stacked the deck, guaranteeing that I would pick House of Stairs by William Sleator.

house of stairs

House of Stairs by William Sleator
First published 1974
Puffin
Paperback, 176 pages

What it’s about:

Five orphans find themselves trapped in an unusual building. With the exception of a machine in the floor of one landing that gives them food, the teens are surrounded by nothing but staircases. The machine is a fickle and demanding little thing and soon the food only comes when the starving kids complete certain tasks. As food deliveries become infrequent and the kids’ hunger grows some in the group are willing to go to extremes to please the machine.

Why you might like it:

Are you looking for old school science fiction? This one is for you. Unlike a lot of modern science fiction books (Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.), House of Stairs does not have a lot of action. However, the patient reader will be drawn in by the escalating suspense. It’s a short book and has some slightly dated language, but the reveal at the end is pretty disturbing.

Want more like this?

For other accounts of bad things happening with groups of stranded teens, try Lord of the Flies by William Golding or Gone by Michael Grant. You might also want to try some of William Sleator’s other books such as Interstellar Pig and Singularity.For more classic sci-fi try 1984 by George Orwell, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and Feed by M.T. Anderson (not quite as classic as the others!)

From my Middle School Book Club came this recommendation:

outcasts

The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles #1) by John Flanagan
November 1, 2011
Philomel Books
Hardcover, 434 pages

What it’s about:

The Skandians are a sea-faring people known and feared for their size, strength, and pillaging skills. Every year the young men of the village participate in Brotherband training, where they will learn the ways of the sea and how to work together as a team. The training is challenging enough for the strongest and bravest in the group, but for Hal and his group of outcast friends, the competition will be grueling. They call themselves the Herons and they are the underdogs.

Why you might like it:

If you liked The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, you won’t want to miss this new series! At first I missed Will and Halt, but soon discovered that Hal and Thorn are just as awesome a pair. If you like action and adventure, you’ll find plenty of that here. Do you always cheer for the underdog? You’ll be rooting for Hal and his crew from the get-go!

Want more like this?

If you haven’t read The Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan, you’ll want to check those out immediately! For more seafaring adventures try the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer.

The final verdict? My teen readers picked some great books for me to read in March!

Here’s a sneak peek at what I am working on in April:

universe versus chasers

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

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