by James Dashner
Interest level: grades 5-12
Reading level: young adult
4 out of 5 stars
I’m glad I finally got around to reading The Maze Runner; it’s been on my to-read list for a long time. Set in a time when the world has undergone some type of cataclysmic event, we join the story of Thomas as he awakens in an elevator that takes him to a mysterious camp of boys, located in the center of a giant maze. Thomas discovers that each month, a new boy is delivered to the Maze. None of them have any memories, besides a name.
The teens have developed a type of civilization with jobs and basic government. It has worked for two years. Until the day after Thomas arrives. The first girl, with an ominous message, arrives in the elevator, and the need to solve the Maze becomes a matter of life or death.
This work of dystopian fiction will appeal to fans of survival stories. This is my go-to recommendation for 5th graders who are reader for a story for middle grade readers, and have enjoyed Peak by Roland Smith, or Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. The epilogue is spine tingling and will leave you craving book 2 in the series.
After reading the book, I also watched the movie. While I ordinarily feel pretty strongly that movies are never as good as the book, The Maze Runner movie is a very good adaptation. The personality of the character and the basic plot are well represented in the movie. This is one of the rare times that a person who read the book could discuss events with someone who saw just the movie.