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Author: Dashner, James
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 133240
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 24.0 Quiz: 48080
Common Core Standards
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2009 As with many recent stories being spread over multiple volumes, this often-exciting but ultimately frustrating opener reads more like an extended prologue than a fully realized novel. Thomas, his memory wiped out, is thrust into the center of an enormous maze, where other teens have constructed a survivalist society. No one knows why they’re there, or where they came from, but each day they send out runners into the constantly shifting, monster-infested labyrinth to search for a way out. As memories start to trickle back in and circumstances grow increasingly dire, Thomas suspects he knows more about the maze than he should. The withholding and then revelation of crucial information tend toward contrivance and convenience, but the tantalizing hints of a ravaged world outside make for gripping reading. Although this opening volume will appeal to the same audience as hot dystopian thrillers like The Hunger Games (2008), it doesn’t promise the same level of devotion. With much of the more intriguing head-game aspects left unexplored, though, the potential for a rousing continuation of the story certainly exists. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2009 Gr 6–10— Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers. Unfortunately, the question of whether the teens will escape the maze is answered 30 pages before the book ends, and the intervening chapter loses momentum. The epilogue, which would be deliciously creepy coming immediately after the plot resolves, fails to pack a punch as a result. That said, The Maze Runner has a great hook, and fans of dystopian literature, particularly older fans of Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember (Random, 2003), will likely enjoy this title and ask for the inevitable sequel.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH - Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 11/01/2009 Thomas has no memories of his past or any of the people or events in it, including how he ended up in a box being delivered into the hands of a group of boys who live in a strange sort of compound. There is a farm, a homestead, and a forest, enclosed on all sides by enormous walls that seal shut at dusk. Outside the walls, there is a maze populated by what the boys call Grievers-horrific creatures, half organic, half mechanical, with lethal stings and the power to dismember and consume human flesh. The Grievers are most active at night, and hence the boys figure the walls are shut to protect them, but they have no idea who has sentenced them to this life; they only believe that if they can solve the maze, they can escape and return home. When a girl is unexpectedly delivered the day after Thomas arrives, the boys sense that something is changing and grow suspicious of Thomas. Thomas has his own suspicions, but they are so vague because of his memory loss that they will do him no good unless he figures out a way to unlock his memories, defeat the Grievers, and solve the maze once and for all. The unraveling mystery reveals a sinister experimental vibe that recalls Sleator’s classic House of Stairs, with nefarious scientists in a post-cataclysmic world pulling the strings of gifted children to see which ones hold and which snap, and ultimately setting the stage for a sequel or two where the well-honed survivors save the world. The community of boys contains a few well-developed, appealing characters, and some not so appealing, which will create emotional investment and identification from a range of readers; Thomas himself is smart, sensitive, astonishingly brave, and troubled enough to be interesting. Readers will wonder what’s to come after this exciting and readable set-up. KC - Copyright 2009 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.