The Scourge

The Scourge

Book - 2016
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As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor’s wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge — and quarantine colony — for the ill. The Scourge’s victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there.However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn’t know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She’s been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on. But will she and Weevil survive the Scourge — and the gorvernor’s wardens — long enough to make their escape and expose the cruel plan?
Publisher: New York, New York :, Scholastic Press,, 2016
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780545682459
Characteristics: 353 pages ; 22 cm

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The novel “The Scourge” by Jennifer A. Nielsen was an exciting, engaging read. I was drawn in by the epic plot of the fantasy novel and immensely entertained by the fun and refreshing characters. In the country of Keldan, a deadly disease spreads terror amongst the townsfolk. When Riverlander, Ani Mells, gets the disease she is taken to the isolated island where the ill are contained. The novel follows Ani as she navigates her unfamiliar environment, learns the truth of the illness, and gets into heaps of trouble along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters of this novel. Ani and Weevil in particular, had a well-developed relationship. I enjoyed their witty exchanges, mischievous schemes, and the way they worked well in tandem. Ani is a strong female lead which I appreciate in a novel. She doesn’t bend to anybody’s will and sticks to her ideals. Her determination and grit make the reader root for her the entire way. I also commend Nielsen’s world building. Her created society is realistic and she touches on many real-life problems like discrimination and censorship. Set in a country threatened by war, Nielsen brings the world to life and keeps the plot as plausible as possible. My only issues with the novel were the overly straightforward aspects. This novel was under my reading level so I was frustrated by the over-simplifications. While the plot was intriguing, it only skimmed the surface of its potential. With more depth and detail, it could have been more polished and meaningful. I also disliked the rushed ending. A plethora of events happened at the end in only a few pages, making it seem like a list of events rather than part of the story. This novel contains plenty of external conflict to keep the reader entertained. Protagonist, Ani, goes head to head with a variety of characters including a girl from town, various guards and wardens, a ship full of sailors and the governor of Keldan. The ending also contains a twist that will make the reader question the acts of everyone in the novel. I would recommend this novel to children in grades five to nine. While it does contain conflict, the novel is easy to follow and can be read by elementary school students. It also filled with enough action to keep the attention of any easily distracted child in need of an enjoyable book. I would rate this novel four stars. It fully accomplishes its task for a younger audience yet could have contained more detail.
(Reviewed by Kaelin for the Cloverdale Teen Book Review Project.)

‘The Scourge’ hooks the reader in right from the start. With intense plot twists and cliff hanging chapters, one is kept on their toes, hungering to read the next page. Once one mystery is uncovered, another unknown arises; it is simply thrilling! This novel is cleverly written in laying out the issues of assuming what is unknown about other people and making generalizations. With a plague eating away at an economically and socially crumbling nation and a blooming friendship taken on an unforeseen adventure, ‘The Scourge’ is far from short of surprises, a great read!
(Reviewed by Sarah for the Cloverdale Teen Book Review Project)

j
joywolf83
Feb 24, 2017

Super obvious book. Fiesty Ani is told she along with others are deathly ill. Non stop action that moves at a good pace. You can see the climax, character arc and conclusion coming a mile away. The entire, and I do mean the entire book is summed up on page 304.

v
vv19
Jan 29, 2017

Ani is a great main character who has the heart and courage to do the impossible. When a disease threatens people she loves, Ani finds a way to help them. Some of greatest lessons about those wanting to beat us down or to keep us from going on is learned in this story. The most amazing part of the story is that we learn what happens to communities that are treated differently just because someone with power spread lies about them. A great story with a good moral lesson for kids.

kirstd31 Sep 19, 2016

A fun adventure story about best friends. The are brave and caring about others. Can Ani and Weevil survive the Scourge?

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vv19
Jan 29, 2017

vv19 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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