The Reading Eagles

TPCA Media Class… Grow In Grace


post apocalyptic

Deadly Desert

Review of: The Scorch Trials, by James Dashner

Reviewed by: Claire

After the cliff hanger ending of The Maze Runner by James Dashner, you will want to read The Scorch Trials. It is way more mysterious than the first book. It starts in a building that the rebels of Wicked took the group of teenage boys who used to live in the glade somehow. Thomas, who is the “leader” of the gladers, is even struggling in this new sandy environment; it is hard to survive in a land that you have never seen before. The group of teens is then transported to a desert that had been hit by a sun flare. This deadly desert is home to a town of cranks, people who are slowly going mad from a contagious disease that was formed after a worldwide sun flare. The group, led by Thomas, has been given direct orders to go through the town and continue on a hundred miles to get to the safe heaven where they were told that there was a cure to the terrible disease that has killed over half over humanity, but they are taken as prisoners. Worst of all, Teresa, who was one of the head gladers when they were still in the glade, is taken to be with another group that seems to have gone through the same things that they did, except with girls. Thomas and the other gladers must survive in rough rocky terrain as they learn about leadership, hope, and bravery. It is very thrilling reading about how much the gladers learn to become more tight knit, so that they can complete their goal as a group. 

I was so captivated  by how the story plays out. I really enjoyed the story line and plot,  and how every scene had action and mystery.  It was perfectly done on James Dashner’s part, with all the amazing word play and story line.  My favorite scene is when Teresa was going insane and the people around her were so confused, and when Thomas was going a little crazy over a girl. Although they were different scenes, they really tied the character’s relationship together. The only bad thing about this book is the cliffhanger ending because then are left longing for more like a man in the desert longing for water, but I cannot complain about that trivial detail because the rest of the whole book is done beautifully.

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 11. There are some mature scenes and the story line is sometimes a little hard to follow, but if you like adventure, mystery, and an over all amazing book, then you will love The Scorch Trials as much or maybe even more than I did.

The Ultimate Puzzle

REVIEW OF: The Maze Runner,by James Daschner


The Maze Runner by James Daschner is a thrilling story filled with action, horror, and mystery. Thomas, a teenager whose memory has been wiped, is trapped and hidden inside a place called the Glade; surrounding all of it is The Maze.  Over time, sixty boys have been brought there and trapped.  Each boy who is transported to the Maze is itching to have the same questions answered: Who am I, and how did I get here? Thomas, though, has questions bursting inside his head at every second of the day. He wants to know what Grievers are, what the Changing is, why bugs with WICKED written on them spy on the Gladers, and why did the Creators of the Maze bring them here? Thomas watches in wonder as the thick, heavy, ivy-covered stone walls that keep the teens safe at night move. All of that is not new to the other Gladers; but then another new person is sent to the Maze… the first girl!  Things start to get so out-of-whack that the Gladers begin to want Thomas dead. The Gladers blame Thomas when the walls don’t close at night and become suspicious when he becomes the first person to survive the Maze at night.  Thomas only has a few friends that believe that he’s not a spy from the Creators.  He must get everyone out of the Maze, but an invisible hole, monsters who shoot weapons, and a sky that turns gray defies any kind of logic.  Can they get out or will they be trapped forever?

I loved this book and thought that is was thrilling.  I enjoyed the mystery of the unanswered questions that keep you reading.  It also has humor, sadness, and excitement that make you feel like you are in the book.  The author makes the story feel like you are traveling in it with Thomas.  I admire that the Gladers have to learn to trust each other and that Thomas builds friendships with some of the boys.

I think that even though the book is about a ton of boys, girls will love the novel too.  If you love to solve a huge puzzle, then this book is perfect for you.  It has a few gross and scary parts, so I recommend The Maze Runner for kids 11 and up. Anyone who takes the time to read this intriguing story will be astonished at how good it is.


Mind Maze


Reviewed by:  Mrs. Herr

I guess it’s my turn to write a review!  Since starting this book review blog site, I have started and completed reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner.  In this intriguing novel, we are introduced to Thomas, a teenage boy with no memory other than his first name.  He is thrust into a world that makes no sense to him  and must try to not only learn new information on a minute-by-minute basis, but also learn his place in the social order of this strange place called The Glade.  The only other inhabitants are other boys who have also been forced to make The Glade their home. They are united in one purpose: trying to find a way out through the giant walls that not only form the borders of The Glade, but also lead into The Maze.  As Thomas learns more about The Maze, he also learns about himself – not through memories, but by instinct and faint inclinations that help him realize his potential purpose in this awful and dangerous place.  There are those who do not trust Thomas due to their own faint “memories” and Thomas must learn to face not only the mysteries and deadly dangers of The Maze, but also the accusations of others who claim that he may not be who he seems.  Clearly emerging as a leader among all of the boys in The Glade, Thomas must make some dangerous choices.

I found the story and concept of this book to be fascinating.  While the writing was not quite as taut and edgy as Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, it was still very engaging and moved at a great pace.  The action moved quickly and kept me wishing for more at the end of each chapter, which made up for the few times that I thought the author was repetitive.  The characters were well developed which is important to me; I like to feel that I really care about the characters by the end of the book.

The post-apocalyptic theme is very popular right now and this book is a worthy addition to that genre. I would definitely recommend this exciting novel to anyone in 6th grade and up.  There are many intense scenarios, some violence, and even death.  Due to those factors, I wouldn’t recommend it to younger grades.  They can just look forward to reading it when they’re older!

-Mrs. Beth Herr

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