Books in the Middle: Reading for Middle School

Our focus is on books middle school students might like to read and topics pertaining to books for these students, and we are giving recommendations. Teachers, librarians and middle school students are the contributors to this blog. If you would like to listen to booktalks of some of these books, please check out this site and enjoy!

The Power to Kill? February 22, 2017

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — lpitrak @ 3:04 pm
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This latest from Neal Shusterman imagines a world where human beings have conquered everything– the lack of environmental issues, disease, old age, accidents and poverty means people are literally living in a world without death. However, the Earth’s capacity to sustain human life has not increased, and without any natural deaths, the mortality rate must be stabilized… and this is the duty of the Scythes. To be chosen as a Scythe is an honor, as well as a huge responsibility. They are charged with “gleaning” the population– killing individuals to keep the population size stable. Highschoolers Citra and Rowan are both chosen as apprentice scythes, handpicked to be killers because of their morality and compassion. As they are soon to discover, though, not all Scythes have retained their sense of goodness and integrity. Can Citra and Rowan survive intense training, lies, secrets, and deep betrayal during their year as apprentices? And even if they can… what will happen once they are initiated? This newest by Neal Shusterman is a brilliant, action-packed book which questions what makes us human, and what meaning is contained in a life with no death.


5 Responses to “The Power to Kill?”

  1. Joy Kirr Says:

    I LOVED SCYTHE!! Thanks for sharing this great book – I hope more of my 7th graders decide to read it thanks to your post!

  2. I read this as soon as it came out. Such a great book. Exactly what I’ve come to expect from Neal Shusterman. Haven’t convinced any of my students to read it yet, but I’m sure I have a few I could convince in the best way possible. It’s available in this year’s book fair, so I’ll definitely be picking up a copy for my classroom this week.

    • lpitrak Says:

      I feel like its a great one to book talk, but yes having copies in your classroom should be a great way to entice students to read… the cover is awesome!!! 🙂

  3. Clara Sigale Says:

    This was such a great book! As a student, I found it as a nice, quick, easy read, as opposed to the more complex texts I was also reading. I enjoyed the plot’s consistency, and the clever twists and turns. The characters had me invested, and got me to really think: “Is a world with no natural death better, or is is better to have control of one’s fate?”

    (I read it because of the one-sentence summary’s we have around the school. Scythe was posted, and it peaked my interest.)

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