Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Science Fiction

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
Reading Level: Grade 10-12
Publisher: William Morrow, 1997

After helping a girl battered and bleeding on the street one night, Richard discovers the next morning that he no longer exists. His fiancee does not recognize him, his ATM cards don't work and his apartment is rented out to other people. In an effort to get his life back, Richard sets out to find the girl he helped, only to discover an alternate world in the London underground full of unusual characters. Neverwhere is very reminiscent of "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Wizard of Oz", but with a dash of Clive Barker. Not a book for immature readers.

The City Of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau
Reading Level: Grade 4-7
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers, 2003

The city of Ember was designed to be the last hope for mankind. 220 years have past, maybe more, and resources are becoming scarce, the generator is failing, and soon Ember might be plunged into eternal darkness. Lina Mayfleet has discovered a set of badly damaged instructions. Can she and her friend Doon Harrow unlock the secret that can possibly save their city?

Frankenstein - Marry Shelly
Reading Level: Grade 9-12
Publisher: Signet Classics, 2000

When Victor Frankenstein tries to bring life to a mass of deceased human body parts, he is horrified at what he has done. The Monster, isolated and tormented by everyone seeks its revenge upon its creator.
This classic of science fiction literature has always been a favorite of mine. What is interesting, is Frankenstein was written as part of a competition between Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Polidori to see who could write the best horror story. This was also during a time when in history when there was a bias on against female writers and is seen as a classic in literature. Frankenstein is widely view as the first work of science fiction.

Robopocalypse - Daniel H. Wilson
Reading Level - Grade 9-12
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2011

In the not too distant future, robots are in cars, appliances, toys, and they even act as companions They have become part of our daily lives and their one goal is to make life easier for humans. When Archos, an artificial intelligence becomes sentient he takes steps to stop Earths destruction, the only problem is, he sees the human race as its destroyers.

The Nobody - Jeff Lemire
Reading Level: Grade 7-8
Publisher: Vertigo, 2009

The town of Large Mouth is a quiet town where nothing exciting ever happens. Then one day a stranger arrives wrapped head to toe in banda0ges. The people of Large Mouth learn to accept the new person who likes to keep to himself. When something goes wrong, and a loved one doesn't come home, the stranger is the first one they blame.

Nightmares and Fairy Tales: 1140 Rue Royale - Serena Valentio
Reading Level: Grade 8-10
Publisher: SLG Publishing, 2007

"This tale belongs to the dead and the house they dwell in..." The original owner Madame Lalaurie inflicted unspeakable acts and grotesque experiments on her slaves in her New Orleans home. Now they seek to take their revenge on the new owners. Miss Victoria and her niece Rebecca seek to find a way to end this haunting and stay alive while they uncover the houses horrible secrets. The simple dialogue, makes it a quick read, but the intense imagery may be a little harsh for some readers.

Amulet: The Stonekeeper - Kazu Kibuishi
Reading Level: Grade 4+
Publisher: Scholastic, 2008

Since witnessing the death of her father 2 years ago, Emily has never been the same. Struggling financially, Emily, her Mom and her younger brother Navin, move into the home of her deceased great-grandfather, who disappeared without a trace. Emily finds a Amulet that begins to speak to her and tells her she needs to keep her family together. One night, while inspecting strange noises coming from the basement, Emily's mom is taken through a door by a strange creature. Not wanting to lose another parent, Emily and Navin follow her into an underground world inhabited by monsters, robots, and talking animals They set out to rescue their mom and discover the secret of the amulet.

Nova's Ark - David Kirk
Reading Level: Grade 1-3
Publisher: Callaway, 2005

Nova has alway been a curious and imaginative robot who loves to build things. Nova's curiosity however gets the best of him during a class trip to the space center when he leaves his group to explore on his own.When his spaceship crash lands on an empty planet, Nova populates it with robot friends made from the wreckage of the spaceship. Loosely based on the biblical tale of Noah's Ark, Nova's ark is filled with complex real and imaginary words that might make this a little confusing for an early reader, but an advanced reader might really enjoy this tale.

Oh no! Not again! (Or How I Built a Time Machine to Save History) (Or at Least My History Grade) - Mac Barnett
Reading Level: Grade: K-2
Publisher: Disney/Hyperion, 2012

"Oh No! Not Again!" is a sequel to "Oh No!" But this time around she can't accept the fact that she has gotten an "A" on her history test. The only solution is to invent a time machine to get that correct answer.

Not really Science Fiction, but an honorable mention...

Goodnight iPad: a Parody for the Next Generation - Ann Droyd
Reading Level: K+
Publisher: Blue Rider Press, 2011

As said in the title, Goodnight iPad is a parody of the classic children's book "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown. There isn't enough to be said about this powerfully funny book. However, it does convey an important message. 

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