I hope you enjoyed the featured series of reads this week. Old Harmonie sounds familiar doesn’t it. For me it brought back memories of The Giver by Lois Lowry, the movie that is. I have read the entire quartet and it gave me quite a lot to think about. Mostly my thoughts centred on how amazing of a writer Lois Lowry was to create a unique world in those books and sparked our imagination into captivating us with her words. As a librarian I understand the need when young readers come and ask for the popular books but I prefer to direct them to those authors who have similar books with, at times, better stories and characters.
In this selection you will find dystopian worlds like no other and characters equally strong and diverse as us.
The Dark Gravity sequence
Titles: The Arctic Code, Island in the sun, The Rogue World
Author: Matthew J. Kirby
Genre: Fiction – SciFi (Post Apocalyptic world)
Publication details: Balzer + Bray; NY, 2015 – 2017
What these books are about: It is the near future, and the earth has entered a new ice age. Half the planet is encased in massive glaciers and humanity has migrated towards the equator, where temperatures are still barely above freezing, in a desperate attempt to survive. Eleanor Perry’s mother, Dr. Perry believes that a series of oil deposits she found in the Arctic may hold the key to our survival. When she disappears and Eleanor receives a series of cryptic messages that point to a significant and mysterious discovery. In Arctic Code, Eleanor and her friends races to unlock the mysteries of what has happened to our planet and uncovers a threat to the earth that may not be of this world. In the second book, Island in the sun, Eleanor and her friends must journey across the planet to save it all the while questioning their connections to it – and each other. The final story in the Dark Gravity sequence is a joining of discovery – into secrets hidden in the deepest reaches of space and into Eleanor’s unknown past.
My review: An awesome series of titles to get stuck into!! It gripped me and kept me up way past my bedtime as I raced across the world with Eleanor and her friends. This new earth was like nothing I had seen in any movie, half covered in ice and filled with some fascinating characters. I enjoyed meeting strong characters in Eleanor and her friends and couldn’t wait to read each one of the books in sequence!! It almost felt like stepping into the pages of a movie to be honest. Matthew Kirby has done an expert job in bringing every strand in his storyline to an amazing climactic finale in the last book!! Awesome set of books for lovers of adventure and intrigue!!
My rating: 5 ⭐
Sky Jumpers books
Titles: Sky Jumpers, The Forbidden Flats
Author: Peggy Eddleman
Genre: Fiction – Sci fi (Post-apocalyptic world)
Publication details: Random House; NY; 2013 & 2014
What these books are about: Twelve-year-old Hope lives small town called White Rock. The most dangerous thing about living in White Rock is that it’s so close to the deadly Bomb’s Breath – the poisonous band of air that’s hovered over the earth since the green bombs of World War Three. In the first story, Sky Jumpers, young Hope and must use her unique skill set when a group of bandits invade their town. The second story the Forbidden Flats continues Hope’s adventures in White Rock when a massive quake rips across the earth and the Bomb’s Breath begins to lower over White Rock. It’s now up to Hope and her friends to journey across the bandit-ridden Forbidden Flats to retrieve the one thing that may be able to stop the Bomb’s Breath from sinking too far.
My review: A unique set of post-apocalyptic adventures awaited me when I decided to read these titles. They grabbed my attention had me gripped from beginning to end!! Yes, I know, these titles all seem to have the same effect on me! Young Hope and her friends seem to run into all sorts of adventures and their community needs them for some of the most arduous of tasks. I guess, I liked these because of the description of such a world that has survived biological warfare and the strength of the youngest of the survivors. Peggy Eddleman truly captures her readers with her attention to detail and vivid description of White Rock and her inhabitants. I hope she writes more stories like these. Young readers would love this set of books!!
My rating: 5 ⭐
Title: The one safe place
Author: Tania Unsworth
Genre: Fiction – SciFi/Dystopian
Publication details: Orion Children’s Books; London, 2014
What this book is about: Devin doesn’t remember life before the world got hot; he has grown up farming the scorched earth with his grandfather in their remote valley. When his grandfather dies, Devin heads for the city. He finds children like him living alone on the streets. They tell him of a place for abandoned children, with unlimited food and the hope of finding a new family. But only the luckiest get there. An act of kindness earns Devin an invitation to the Gabriel H. Penn Home for Childhood, but it’s soon clear that this place is no paradise.The only real hope is escape, but the place is as secure as a fortress. Fans of dystopian fiction and spine-chilling adventure will enjoy this read!! It’s haunting themes will resonate long after they’ve turned the final page.
My review: A really well written story. I enjoyed this story quite a bit but found some scenes and themes a bit dark compared to the others I had read. Tania Unsworth seems to be a good author that I had missed earlier. There are some similar undercurrents to The Giver here but a storyline that is truly one of a kind and some great characters in Devin and his friends. More suitable for slightly older kids but a good read for those who enjoy mystery and adventure!
My rating: 4 ⭐
If anyone knows of any other dystopian fiction titles for younger readers, please let me know!!