New Science Fiction

Z
by
Michael Thomas Ford

Reading Level: Grades 7 - 9

Josh spends a lot of his free time playing a virtual reality game that his parents despise. The game? Killing z's. Zombies. Meatbags. The undead. Doesn't matter what you call 'em, as long as you kill 'em quickly. And Josh is one of the best.

So good, in fact, that he's invited to play a secret IRL* version of the game. In prepping for his first game with another (female!) player named Charlie, he takes a drug called Z - to help him think just like the enemy. Josh soon spends so much of his time taking Z and prepping for or playing the IRL game that his friendships become strained.

What Josh doesn't know is that he's risking more than his friendships by playing. He's risking his life.

*noob definition: in real life

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More books by Michael Thomas Ford

Other good zombie books:
Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
You Are So Undead to Me by Jay Stacey

Similar novels:
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Shade's Children by Garth Nix
Epic by Connor Kostick
So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

The Scorch Trials
by
James Dashner

Reading Level: Grades 6 and up

If you haven't yet read The Maze Runner yet, stop reading this review.

Thomas, Teresa and the other Gladers have escaped the Maze and been rescued, supposedly. But after what they all went through in the Maze, who can trust anything?

Soon, unsurprisingly, the Gladers find themselves in the midst of another trial - one even more grueling and dangerous than the Maze. But there are more elements to the test this time, and Thomas doesn't know how he and his friends will survive this time.

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More books by James Dashner

Another book that deals with the testing of children for a greater good:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

More dark dystopias:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The Storm Thief by Chris Wooding
The Rule of Claw by John Brindley
The Inferior by Peadar O'Guilin

Pathfinder
by
Orson Scott Card

Reading Level: Grade 7+

Card, the author of the beloved Ender Wiggins series, scores again with this new series. 13-year-old Rigg has lived an isolated life with his demanding father hunting and trapping in the wilderness. Despite their isolation, Rigg's father has given his son an exceptional education is languages, science, and psychology. He has also pushed Rigg to hone his unusual path-finding skills.

When his father suddenly dies, Rigg must make his way alone in a hostile world...one that takes a very dim view of a boy with exceptional powers.

If you enjoyed this sophisticated science fiction adventure, try:
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Enchantress From the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl

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Other books by Orson Scott Card

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