Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Monday, February 24, 2014


Takenby Erin Bowman
From the publisher:
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?"

Two of my favorite clean YA authors highly recommended this book, so I ordered it for our library, but I disliked this book on so many levels I was glad when I finally finished it.  The main character was completely obnoxious and I really didn't care what happened to him. There was no chemistry whatsoever between the main character and his 2 love interests. There are some very disturbing parts about sleeping around to propagate the race, and I never really understood the world building.  Teenagers might possibly like this better than I did.

Areas of concern:
The above mentioned sleeping around, which they call "slatings".  I don't remember much bad language at all.  Really a pretty clean read without the whole slatings thing.  And that is just talked about as everyday life, but never anything detailed.
There is violence as they are fighting a war (which is never really explained well).  An evil government head (obligatory in dystopian books) who experiments on people and has people executed.

Suggested Ages:
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 12-18
School Library Journal - Grades 8+

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