Title: The Road: A New Future is About to Explode
Author: Emma Clayton
Genre: Children’s fiction, grades 5-8
Publication: Chicken House, 2009
My Star Rating: 5 stars out of 5 = I Love It
My Summary Statement: Fast Paced Page-Turner – Dystopian Novel for Kids – Appeals to Both Girls and Boys
From the start of this book I was hooked. I’m a homeschooling mother who reads a fair share of juvenile fiction and young adult literature, whose sons enjoy dystopian literature. I couldn’t put the book down and was engaged from the beginning. Clayton did a great job creating the characters that I related to and cared about.
There is plenty of action in this fast-paced book while also having a real storyline and good character development. The main character is a boy twin and the secondary characters are the girl twin and another twelve year old girl, with other minor characters of both genders. I therefore think this book will appeal to both girls and boys, so long as they enjoy the dystopian fiction genre.
We are also curious until the end, about what The Secret is. The book was not at all predictable (thank goodness) and although we don’t find out what it is until the very end, there is enough story and action to not frustrate us due to our curiosity to know.
The book is a bit edgy for some fifth graders, especially sensitive kids, with some creepy characters and nightmares and intentional scaring and some dangerous sick things that adults do to the twelve year old characters. However if your child is already familiar with The Hunger Games this is nothing as severe as that (young adult) novel. Also if they already have read the whole Harry Potter series, this is either not as severe or equally edgy.
This dystopian novel is set in the future on Earth. Some things that happen in the book are happening in our culture today: bullying, classism, and social injustice. There are talking points here that would make for good discussion parent to child or teacher to classroom.
This may be a great book for reluctant readers too, thanks to the action, the engaging characters, the interesting topic, and the suspense.
At about 500 pages it seems daunting but the action and story pull the reader through and it seemed to me to be engaging and exciting throughout, so the long page count is fine by me.
I rate this book 5 stars = I Love It.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the Amazon Vine program. See my blog's full disclosure statement near the top of my blog's sidebar.