Kids' Books We Love
Book reviews from Youth Services

Maze Runner

  Dashner, James

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Number of Pages: 375
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Science fiction
Dystopian fiction

Material Type/Location:

Youth Fiction

Reading Level:



Voice of Youth Award Nominee

Book Cover from Syndetics Solutions

Why I liked this title:

Imagine waking up in an elevator with no memory other than your first name! Scary, huh? You can’t even be sure of your age. This was Thomas, who found himself in a strange new world with 60 other boys approximately his age who have learned to survive and make do in a very strange new world. The boys are called the Gladers. In this new world, a new boy arrives every 30 days and replenishment supplies also arrive like clockwork. This gripping story grabs you from the beginning and you feel just as confused as Thomas does waking up knowing only your name, and all these strange new terrors. The homestead defies physics and allows the walls to close to keep out these nightmarish monsters that plague the boys. For two years, the boys worked the land, and ran the maze trying to figure a way out. Then Thomas arrives and the clocklike precision is altered, first by another new person arriving the next day and for the first time it’s a girl! Each day the pressure is intensified and the author draws you in further and further so that you can’t put it down.

Warning: Do homework first – hard to put down!

Reviewed by: Cathy Maassen on 1/6/2010

A box, a maze, at least 100 boys, all ages and no memory; put them all together and you have the Maze Runner. I listened to the Playaway of this book. For some reason, I just couldn’t get into reading the text and listening to it turned out to be a better option for me.

Thomas arrives inside a box, much like an elevator, They say a newbie comes from the box every 30 days. His nickname will be Greenie until another newbie arrives. Invented language, no remembrance of their past, they have created jobs and picked a leader. They have rules. Number One Rule: no one goes into the maze unless your job is runner. Thomas has a few odd, scattered memories, but is trying to figure this place out. He’s already made a friend and an enemy. Where does he fit in this society and what is it? One thing he knows, he wants to be a runner.

Throughout the book, Thomas asks questions, so many that I was beginning to get annoyed at him. But through his persistence, he slowly gets answers. It seems that his arrival has triggered something. There is now an urgency to find their way through the maze. There has to be more out there, maybe the answer to all their questions. The world is a raw one, outside it can be dangerous. It is a society where children have to grow up fast. It is a predominantly male book. Only a few scattered female characters, one that may have more prominence in future books. I felt it was a little slow in the beginning but eventually it picks up; so keep on reading.

Reviewed by: Patty Sero on 8/29/2012

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Listing Generated: 12/22/2014