Archives for posts with tag: science fiction


The True Meaning of Smekday
by Adam Rex

smekday

Gratuity (aka Tip) Tucci is a pretty-much-normal twelve-year-old girl with a pretty-much-normal life. That is, until her mom says that aliens are talking to her through a mole on her neck. No one believes her, until the aliens invade on Christmas Eve, which they rename Smekday in honor of Captain Smek. The aliens, called the Boov, declare Earth a colony and rename it Smekland. All of humanity is sent to live in Florida, transported there by rocketpod. Tip doesn’t get on a rocketpod though, preferring to drive to Florida in her mother’s dilapidated car instead. She forms an unlikely alliance with a Boov mechanic named J.Lo. Together with Tip’s cat they have a hilariously eventful road trip in Tip’s upgraded car, which is renamed Slushious and has a new feature – it hovers. Will Tip and J.Lo ever learn to get along? Will Tip be able to find her mom in the Happy Mouse Kingdom? Will their crazy plan to prevent another alien invasion work? Tip tells answers all these questions and more in The True Meaning of Smekday.

The True Meaning of Smekday is a classic road trip and coming-of-age story, and it is also a  science fiction and satire novel.  It includes many drawings, comic strips, and newspaper clippings to draw the attention of kids. It is a great introduction to sci fi for a kid in the second half of elementary school, a great choice for reading out loud to children, or for anyone who is young at heart and likes a good laugh!

 

Appropriate for ages 8-12 or grades 3-7

Read a comic of 10 reasons to read The True Meaning of Smekday: http://www.smekday.com/10reasons.html

Read an excerpt of the book here: http://www.smekday.com/excerptfromthetr.html

 

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-True-Meaning-Smekday-Adam/dp/0786849010

From KCLS in Book, Audiobook CD, and Downloadable Audiobook formats: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?t=smart&search_category&q=the%20true%20meaning%20of%20smekday&commit=Search&CFID=33399093&CFTOKEN=ae39d96d93de66c7-7E308132-155D-225D-1D86DD71A0737EEF

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

divergent

Divergent takes place in a dystopian Chicago, where people are divided into five factions that practice one virtue: the Dauntless are brave,  the Candor are honest, Amity members are peaceful, Abnegation are selfless, and the Erudite are intelligent. At sixteen children are put into a simulation that tests their aptitude for all the factions, and then they get to decide which faction to join for the rest of their lives. Beatrice Prior grew up in Abnegation, but she always felt out of place because she was too selfish. When her simulation test gives her confusing results, she has to choose between staying with her family or being true to herself. Her answer at the choosing ceremony surprises everyone, including herself, and she has to live with the consequences. Will she be able to survive the initiation into her chosen faction? Should she trust her fellow initiates, even as they’re competing for a limited number of slots? Who are her real friends? She is told that she must keep her test results secret or risk death, but can she fool everyone, even her cute instructor? You’ll have to read Divergent to find out.

This is a dystopian novel starring a teenage girl, and has a similar feel  to The Hunger Games. There is a lot of teen romance going on in Divergent, but there is no love triangle as there was in The Hunger Games. (I personally felt the love triangle was a bit annoying!) The structure of the society in the series provides for a lot of discussion of human nature and nature versus nurture debates, which gives readers a nice introduction to philosophical arguments.

There are three official volumes in the Divergent series. The second book is Insurgent, and the third is Allegiant. There are also companion stories in ebook format told from the perspective of Beatrice’s main love interest, named Four. They are Four: The Transfer (#0.1), Four: The Initiate (#0.2), Four: The Son (#0.3), Four: The Traitor (#0.4), and Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene (#1.5). There is a companion book that goes into the history of the factions, The World of Divergent: The Path to Allegiant (#2.5). The film version of Divergent came out earlier this year, and look for Insurgent to hit theaters in Spring 2015.

 

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Divergent-Veronica-Roth/dp/0062024035/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401218366&sr=8-1&keywords=divergent

From King County Library System in Book, eBook, Large Print Book, Spanish Book, Audiobook CD, and Downloadable Audiobook: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?custom_query=(contributor%3A(Roth%2C%20Veronica.)%20AND%20title%3A(divergent)%20)%20-anywhere%3A(allegiant)%20-anywhere%3A(insurgent)%20-title%3A(official)%20-title%3A(inside)%20-title%3A(tobias)%20-title%3A(transfer)&suppress=true&custom_edit=false

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

rithmatistAll Joel ever wanted was to study Rithmatics, the art and science of fighting with chalk drawings. Rithmatists draw defensive circles and offensive chalk drawings to duel other Rithmatists and to fight the dangerous wild chalkings. But Joel was not chosen to become a Rithmatist, so he attends normal classes at Armedius Academy, not trying at the classes he doesn’t like and watching the Rithmatic students jealously. Then the Rithmatic students start to go missing, and Joel and a fellow student, Melody, are assigned to help the professor in charge of the investigation into the crimes. Joel and Melody make some surprising discoveries on their hunt to find the perpetrator, a mysterious figure named The Scribbler.

This is a fast-paced and inventive fantasy novel by Brandon Sanderson, more known for his adult Mistborn series. There are some diagrams of the defensive circles by Ben McSweeney, which are very helpful for understanding the concepts of Rithmatics.  The Rithmatist reads like a combination of the Harry Potter school for magic idea, the Pokemon or Fullmetal Alchemist idea of battling, with a little bit of steampunk and chalkdust thrown in. This is the first book in a planned series, and I am excited to see the next.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Rithmatist-Brandon-Sanderson/dp/0765320320

 From King County Library System in book, e-audio, audio cd: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?t=smart&search_category&q=rithmatist%20sanderson&commit=Search&CFID=4407978&CFTOKEN=3fa8752e4600ccb3-61E73CD4-155D-225D-FADDE260E6419A9E

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

A-Confusion-of-PrincesKhemri is a young man that was taken from his parents as a baby and has grown up in a Matrix-like environment to work for the mysterious Imperial Mind as a prince of the empire. In his training, Khemri learns the legends of the great princes, who do the Mind’s bidding and can come back to life if the Mind deems them worthy. The millions of princes in the galactic empire compete to get good positions and to become the one prince chosen to become the next Emperor. Khemri nearly gets assassinated twice on his first day out of training ala Hunger Games, and then he’s maneuvered to join the Imperial Navy even though he’d rather be out cruising in a fast starship and getting girls. The Imperial Mind has directions for Khemri that no one else seems to know about, and he gets put on a secret mission after his training at the Naval Academy is complete. While carrying out this mission, he falls in love, and questions if his goal of becoming Emperor is what he really wants out of life.

This Young Adult science fiction story is told from Khemri’s point of view, and the best part about the book is seeing his character change from an arrogant prince bent on becoming Emperor to a more humble adult who questions authority. I found the ending a little predictable, but teens reading the book might find it more comforting. The world building in this novel is also very good, with a fresh take on the politics and power structures of a vast galactic empire.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Confusion-Princes-Garth-Nix/dp/B00BCUIYJ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389205136&sr=1-1&keywords=a+confusion+of+princes

From King County Library System in ebook, eaudio, audio cd, and book: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?custom_query=%28title%3A%28confusion%20of%20princes%29%20AND%20contributor%3A%28nix%2C%20garth%29%20%29&suppress=true&custom_edit=false