Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sci-Fi Pick: Scythe (Guest Reviewer Gloria James-Avalos)

This review is by guest reviewer Gloria James-Avalos, YA librarian, William Slider Middle School, El Paso, Texas. Follow Gloria on Twitter @GJAvalos_WDSMS

Book 1
by Neal Shusterman
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
448 pages
ISBN: 9781442472426

First in a planned series, Scythe is set in a world that is not really dystopian, but nearly Utopian. Scythe is where everyone lives. No one dies: every illness, accident and even death can be remedied. Through technology, humanity can now go on forever. While this future world sounds wonderful, the biggest problem is overpopulation. To control the population, some young people are apprenticed to Scythes, legal assassins. Citra and Rowan are two teens who are apprenticed. Neither of them wants to be a Scythe, and only one will be chosen. One will face a lifetime of gleaning, or killing, and the other will face immediate death.

Scythe is a bold and thoughtful work, precise and fantastical, and not too far-fetched from what can be accomplished by science. Questions of what makes us human, our humanity, and who can pick and choose who lives and who dies will bother readers. A Printz Honor Book, Scythe delivers a sweeping tale that is sure to stick with readers long after they've turned the last page.

Highly recommended grade 7 and up. Fine for middle school but not for the faint of heart.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the book from the publisher. Neither I nor the guest reviewer received monetary compensation for this review.

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