Tag Archives: William Sleator

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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Mondays with Megan-Well, This Stinks…3/10/14

Hello Monday! I hope everyone had a smooth transition to daylight saving time. You know who didn’t have an easy transition? The skunk who has apparently been living under my back porch and one of my dogs! The skunk did not get the memo that the new 6:30 am is the old 5:30 am and even though it is still dark, it’s time for him to skedaddle. The dog did not get the memo to leave the skunk alone. So, not an awesome start to this week and I am pretty sure I still smell like skunk. I apologize to everyone who has to be around me. And yet, this is actually better than last week. Last week I was incapacitated with a bad back and it was not fun. The only good that came out of the whole ordeal is the obscene amount of reading I got done and my first totally awesome experience with acupuncture.

mondayreading new monday

Check in with Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? lists.

Finished:

house of stairs outcasts evolution of mara dyer selection perfect lies

  •  House of Stairs by William Sleator was chose for me by my high school book club readers. They thought they were being clever by assigning me the worst book they have ever read. Too bad I kind of liked it! This is old-school science fiction here. Five orphans trapped in a building that is all stair cases and nothing else, except for the machine that gives them food. The machine is a fickle and demanding little thing and soon the food only comes when the starving kids complete certain tasks. I get why my teen friends did not enjoy this book, but I thought it was pretty disturbing.
  • The Outcasts by John Flanagan is the first book in The Brotherband Chronicles. This new series takes place in Skandia and stars a new cast of young men who are basically training to be sea-faring men. I miss Will and Halt, but I think I am going to enjoy Hal and Thorn just fine.
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin is a 500 page book that I devoured in one sitting. What is it about this series? It is so strange and intense and utterly compelling. I really need the third book now.
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass is a book I had not intended to read, but some of my avid readers really enjoyed it, so I gave it a shot. It’s pretty fluffy, and yet, it interested me just enough that I want to know what happens next.
  • Perfect Lies by Kiersten White is the sequel to Mind Games. I really enjoyed getting to know Annie better and I loved the ending, but I struggled to keep up with the wacky timeline. I also seemed to have forgotten a lot from the first book and there was very little recapping. Still, an exciting and fast read.

Current Audio:

cuckoos calling call the midwife

I didn’t do much walking or driving, so I am still not finished with these audiobooks.

Currently Reading:

crash grave mercy

On Deck:

ring and crown across

Happy Reading!

˜Megan