Posts Tagged 'imprisonment'

Airman by Eoin Colfer

Genre: Historical fiction

# of Pages:  412

RAC Book:  Yes

Iowa Teen Award Winner 2010

Conor Broekhart is born in a hot air balloon at the world’s fair in 1878 and he is obsessed with flying forever after.  He grows up on the Saltee Islands off the coast of Ireland where his father heads the king’s security.  King Nicholas is very forward thinking and supportive of science and flying, so he enlists a friend of his to come and tutor Conor and his daughter, Isabella.  Conor greatly enjoys his time with Victor as they practice fencing, scientific experiments, and air exploration.  All of this changes when the King and Victor are assassinated by an evil member of the king’s advisors.  Conor is blamed for the conspiracy against the king and is sent to work underground in diamond mines, but he fails to give up and plans to one day fly again.

This is a very different story than most readers will be used to from this author, but it is adventurous and engaging from the first page.  Conor’s strength, intelligence, and perseverance take a hopeless situation and find some light.  The plot twists are compelling and detailed to keep the story moving and all of the characters are well developed, even if they are not in the story that much.  Anyone would enjoy this read, but it will be especially interesting to teenage boys.

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Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  382 p.

RAC:  Yes

Marcus and his friends choose to skip school and go downtown in order to participate in a tech savvy scavenger hunt type game and are caught in the middle when terrorists blow up the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.  Marcus and his friends pull out of the crowd running for cover in order to get medical attention for their friend, Darryl, who was injured after the blast.  Instead of going to a hospital, however, they were transported by Homeland Security to a facility in which they were detained, questioned, and tortured for information on the terrorist attack.  Marcus had several items on him that they wanted access to and when he refused to give them passwords they would use terrible tactics to get him to talk.  His parents were not notified of his whereabouts and he was not allowed to consult with an attorney.  When they finally released him a few days later he was warned not to tell anyone what had happened or else they would come for him again.  Marcus vows to wage war on any government who thinks they can take away the rights of its citizens in the name of security.

This story asks the reader to think about what he or she would do in some difficult situations that are only slightly exaggerated.  The book portrays this world of suspicion and doubt in a way that anyone could see it actually happening.  The question is what would you do if you felt your rights were being stripped illegally?  Marcus’s story encourages communication and discussion about government control and inalienable rights.  Students who like espionage novels will like the technology and creative plans Marcus uses in order to try and reveal the truth.  Highly recommended.


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