The Scourge: Book Review

January 22nd, 2017 by

the-scourgeQuestion: What do you get when you combine the terror of a deadly epidemic with the suspense of a government conspiracy? Answer: A pretty gripping story involving mystery, bravery, friendship, family, prejudice, corruption, and snakes. (Yes, I do mean literal snakes. On fire. Just wait for it.)

The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen takes place in a country ravaged by a highly contagious, very painful, and absolutely fatal disease. To contain the spread of sickness, the governor has come up with a program of containment: Test people before they start showing symptoms, and anyone found to be carrying the scourge is sent to an island hospital to live out the rest of their days in quarantine.

One day, Ani and her friend Weevil get taken in for testing. They should be safe because up to that point, only townspeople had tested positive for the scourge; Ani and Weevil’s families and the other River People avoided interaction with the townspeople as much as possible. (Bigotry and oppression can do that.)

But soon Ani and Weevil are on their way to Attic Island, where they discover that the conditions are far from the rosy picture painted by the government. Why are patients being put to work instead of resting and healing? What happens inside the separate infirmary building? How come the wardens never get sick? Ani is determined to find out.

If you’re a fan of Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Ascendence Trilogy, then you will definitely enjoy The Scourge. Just like in that series, this book will keep you guessing with plenty of double crosses, hidden agendas, unexpected alliances, and political intrigue. (And even a little romance.)

This book also reminded me a bit of Icefall by Matthew Kirby and The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. All three stories feature a strong female protagonist who must unite a people and struggle against powerful forces — all in fictional countries/kingdoms far from our present day nation.

On the other hand, even though the country in The Scourge is fictional, I think Ani could be an inspiration to all of us living in America today. Ani is strong enough to stand up for her beliefs, insist that those in power be held accountable to the people, and work to bring her countrymen (and countrywomen!) together despite deep-rooted prejudice and inequality. I don’t know if the author was inspired by current events, but either way I think Ani and her courage would be a welcome addition to the real world.

Do you also have recommendations of books showcasing major girl power? Share yours in the comments below!

— Karen

One of Karen’s all-time favorite books is Because of Winn-Dixie, which features a strong female protagonist who changes lives in a way that involves no action/adventure but is still meaningful and dramatic nonetheless. Bringing together people in your own community is important too!

More about Karen »

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

October 13th, 2016 by

the-runaway-king-jennifer-a-nielsenSubmitted by Ava, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This book is really good it’s the second book to the false prince in the book the prince is getting use to being prince when he gets attacked read it to find out what happens!

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

February 23rd, 2016 by

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. NielsenSubmitted by Elijah, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This book is about this kid named nic he is a slave in minds and he is sent to get a Amulet and the tunnel collapses but he makes it out with his griffen.

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

February 19th, 2016 by

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. NielsenSubmitted by Liam, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Not the best book. 🙁

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

January 11th, 2016 by

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. NielsenSubmitted by Alexander, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This books is about a slave in Ancient Rome named Nicolas Calva(Nic). Nic is seet down into a cave to find a amulet by a roman general named Radulf. The amulet or bulla was a demigod’s named Juduis Caesar. The bulla is said to have held the power from the gods. This is a really good book and anyone can read it.

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

October 25th, 2015 by

a-night-dividedSubmitted by Andrea, Age 12 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This is a great book. It is a great because it is very action packed and suspenseful. It makes you sad at first but then at the end it makes you very happy! I loved this book because I love suspenseful and action packed book. Read to find out more.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

October 3rd, 2014 by

false-prince-jennifer-a-nielsenSubmitted by Natalie, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

The False Prince is a book about an orphan named Sage. In the book Sage goes from being a poor orphan to being someone who everyone thought wouldn’t be him. It has a huge twist. Read this book to find out!

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

May 22nd, 2014 by

false-prince-jennifer-a-nielsenSubmitted by Konner, Age 11 from Connecticut

Rating: ★★★★★

The book I read is The False Prince. It is a thriller, adventure by Jennifer A Nielson. It’s about three boys who compete with each other to become the false prince Jaron or the false prince but there are twists and turns all over the book and the biggest twist is right under your nose. My favorite part in the book was the ending and I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending so you will have to read to find out the biggest secret of all. I recommend this book to you if you like suspenseful, adventure, and thrillers and I love those kinds of books so I have already read the other two to this sequel. I hope you read this book and its sequel.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

April 6th, 2014 by

false-prince-jennifer-a-nielsenSubmitted by Owen, Age 12 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This is fantastic book! It makes you feel like you are one of the main characters. The False Prince is about a kingdom, whose king, queen, and both future princes have died (you think) A man named Conner goes to a couple orphanages and picks 4 kids who look like the prince that the people think died. Conner is going to pick 1 of these kids to be a “False Prince”.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

January 3rd, 2013 by

false-prince-jennifer-a-nielsenSubmitted by Rachel, Age 12 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This book is one of the best books that I have ever read! It’s about three boys that are compeating for the title of a long lost prince. One of the kids will be the next king. It is my favorite and I say that everybody should read it!!

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