The Rule of 3 by Eric Walters [ a brilliant new Dystopian novel!]

February 24, 2014


  The Rule of Three3  by Eric Walters

  published by razorbill/Penguin Canada ; 404p. ; c2014

It was the dramatic boldly coloured cover of Walter’s latest book, The Rule of Three3, that captured and intrigued me from the start.

In no time, I became completely absorbed by this realistic and disturbing premise and by my own simultaneously personal question of, ‘what if ” this situation really occurred?’  Could this be a possible outcome to humanity – a dramatic reaction to a shocking ‘global viral catastrophe’?

This thought alone, made me want to halt my reading. But it was these same disturbing thoughts that compelled me to continue. Though the story feels almost science fiction-like, one only has to think back to recent global weather events that resulted in similar scenarios.

One quickly realizes that the veneer of civility is shed, if one is without all the computerized driven technologies that have become such an integral part of today’s society.

Through the eyes of sixteen year old Adam, we witness the fear of a seemingly local (innocent) power loss, escalate as the days increase without resolution, to an atmosphere of disorder, feuding, vandalism and desperation. As more time elapses, Adam and his family … with the help of a astute neighbour…try to combat the ever violent disorder and chaos surrounding their suburban neighbourhood into something more orderly…a necessity for survival.

Unfortunately what once was the norm, now has to be re-thought , a mentality, that not all can conform to.

Sacrifice and survival become the key, if any shred of what civil end humanity is to be retained.

This is a strong read, that will challenge the reader to think beyond the box!

Truly a  story of  “what ifs”!

Highly recommended!!

For Intermediate and Senior students

The Kingdom Keepers : Disney after dark by Ridley Pearson

March 27, 2011

September 1st 2005 by Disney Editions
Hardcover, 336 pages
isbn13: 9780786854448

‘Disney’ ….. a word that is recognizable in what ever language and being an avid Disney fan, I naturally gravitated towards this book by Ridley Pearson.

This story ‘Disney after dark’, is the first in the series “Kingdom  Keepers”.  It is not a story that will  envoke the warm and fuzzy feeling that one usually associates with ‘Disney’!  Action, suspense, fantasy and threats taunt and plague the five young characters that are central in this story.  These five teens find themselves pitted against all the traditional and not so traditional villianous characters that inhabit Disney. Being that this is the 21st century, technology now plays a vital role for these protagonists,  but it ends up leaving them with unexpected side effects!

 If you never have had the opportunity of experiencing the Magic Kingdom…then you are in for a wonderful ‘magical ride’ in Ridley Pearson’s book   “The Kingdom Keepers.”


Genre: Fantasy/Thriller/ Suspense 

Interest Level: Grade 6 to 9

Book Weblink:

 Author Talk about the Book:

You Tube Keepers Movie tr:

Book Trailer:

Skeleton Key: The Graphic Novel by Antony Johnston and Anthony Horowitz

January 19, 2011

Grade Level: 6 – 8

Fountas and Pinnell Level: O

Theme:  Adventure, Good and Evil

Genre: Science Fiction, Action

Alex Rider is hired by the CIA to divert attention from his “mom and dad” spies.  He, however, sees himself as more of an accomplice until the real spies are killed, and he willingly takes over.  This action-packed graphic novel comes filled with everything from atomic bombs to James Bond gadgets such as expanding chewing gum. 

This was actually the first graphic novel I’d ever read.  I found it a very quick and enjoyable read, although it took me a little while to get used to “reading” the pictures as well as the text.  My students enjoyed the action of this book, and very few of them abandoned this great story.

ISBN-13: 978-0399254185

The Roar by Emma Clayton

March 29, 2010

Despite the lack luster cover this science fiction/fantasy debut novel by Emma Clayton is a fast paced thriller that takes place in a very bleak- near future.  Human  survival depended upon ‘The Wall’ that was built …to protect the population  from the highly televised and dreaded Animal Plague, which caused all of nature to be destroyed. The world is now one of concrete and chemicals, poverty and a new government controlling the human population.

 In the opening chapter we see a young girl trying to escape the the clutches of  her kidnapper, Mal Gorman after she has learned “The Secret”.  Only moments away from her home she is unfortunately  re-captured. It is at the location of  re-capture that we are then introduced to her twin brother Mika…..unknowingly the two share thoughts and feelings. Mika’s twin sister, Ellie, was kidnapped over a year ago and even their parents have given up hope and declared her dead. But Mika has always been able to feel that Ellie was alive somewhere. A series of circumstances develop and Mika begins his quest  searching for his ‘dead’ sister.

  I was hooked from the opening chapter in this page turner. Clayton has filled this novel with  descriptive passages and has enough of the supernatural, suspense, drama and adventure mixed in with scenes of  pod fighters battles, attacks by animal borgs, strange mental powers,  that it will entice even the most reluctant reader!

This is a powerful book that will definitely get any reader thinking about mass media manipulation, ecology, environmentalism and technology.

Reading Level:  Grade 6,7,8 (Junior, intermediate)

Genre: Science fiction; Fantasy; Suspense

Theme: Environmentalism; Technology; Video Games; Ecology; Government; Mass Media; Virtual reality

Similar BooksGone by  Grant;  The Hunger Games by Collins; Ender’s Game by O. Scott Card; The Giver by Lowery; The Golden Compass by Pullman

and for younger readers: The Shadow Children series by Haddix

Book Trailer:

Night Runner by Max Turner

February 7, 2010

Night Runner by Max Turner

From the Publisher: For Zack Thomson, living in the Nicholls Ward isn’t so bad. After his parents died, he developed strange and severe allergies, and the mental institution was the only place where he could be properly looked after. As strange as it was, it was home.He could watch as much television as he wanted; his best friend Charlie visited him often enough; and Nurse Ophelia the prettiest no-nonsense nurse ever sometimes took him bowling. Of course, that didn’t mean he had it easy. 

Zack has to quickly sort out his life while on the run. This is a terrific book! He has lots to think about and to figure out about his surprising new abilities.  This would be a good book for a literature circle as it is exciting but easy to read

Who would like this?  Middle School Student

Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

February 5, 2010

This is the story of Kelley Winslow, a 17-year-old girl who has moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. Kelley gets an understudy job with a ramshackle repertory company, but in true theatrical-fairy-tale fashion, the lead actress breaks her ankle and Kelley is called upon to play Titania in the upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie’s enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley’s eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.

Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.

This debut YA novel by Canadian author Lesley Livingston, is a real page turner! 

Reading Ability: Intermediate (mature teen read)

Genre: Fantasy; Science fiction; Magic; Romance

Theme: Friendship; Romance; Good vs Evil; Magic

Who would like this book? Anyone who enjoys a good fantasy mixed with a little romance!

Author Link:

Gone by Michael Grant

February 3, 2010

Grade 7 Up—”One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone.” Just vanished—along with everyone else over the age of 13 in a 20-mile radius around Perdido Beach, CA. The children left behind find themselves battling hunger, fear, and one another in a novel strongly reminiscent of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Things go from bad to worse when some of the children begin exhibiting  strange powers, animals show signs of freakish mutations, and people disappear as soon as they turn 14. Gone is gripping read!

Recommended by many!!

Read ability:  Grade 8 (mature teen read)

Genre: Futuristic fiction; Determination; Fantasy

Who’d like this book?    This book would appeal to both male and female readers…..

Author link: on You Tube: