Mysteries, Monsters and Mayhem

hungergame.jpgThe Hunger Games

In most reality TV shows, participants bicker, vote each other off, win money and prizes or simply live their lives. Reality TV in the future, however, is very different. The names of children who are between the ages 12 and 18 are put into a "lottery." Two children from each of the 12 districts are selected to compete against each other. The object? To kill everyone else in the competition and remain the last kid alive. The hunt and the killing are broadcast on TV for all to watch. But this year, the competition rules change and the participants are very clever.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2008.


The Monstrumologist

The revolting and mesmerizing descriptions of the Anthropophagi develop this Gothic horror story into one that must be read both quickly and slowly. Quickly to find out what happens as young Will Henry and the monstrumologist track down the pod of murderous monsters and yet slowly to relish the graphic images and actions of these creatures. From drilling into bones with needle-like teeth to the ripping, smacking, and flinging of limbs, the Anthropophagi present a challenge to the boy, the scientist and "specialist" called in to hunt the monsters. There are also questions that need to be answered, such as why were these monsters brought to this English-like town and who was responsible for introducing them into the community.

Yancy, Rick. The Monstrumologist. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2009.



Teenage years can be tough, but in America, in the not-so-distant future, being a teenager can mean the end of your life. Abortion has been outlawed, however, “unwinding” has been developed. When children are between the ages of 13 and 17, their parents can decide to have them “unwound,” a process that involves harvesting all their organs to be used by others. This story follows three teens scheduled to be “unwound” and how they try to escape their fate.

Shusterman, Neil. Unwind. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2007.

whatIsaw40.jpgWhat I Saw and How I Lied

Evie, a 15-year-old teenager growing up in post-World War II, believes she will never be able to outshine her glamorous mother. During an "extended vacation" to Florida, she begins to realize, however, that the adults closest to her are not what they seem. This romantic mystery is filled with innocence, anguish and a final dilemma of who to betray: your heart or your family.

Blundell, Judy. What I Saw and How I Lied. New York: Scholastic, Inc. 2008.