This science fiction novel for grades 5-8 begins with an exciting scene with 11-year-old Ellie flying a Pod Fighter, trying to escape from people who have captured her. She lives in a futuristic world where things have gone awry. A plague that turned animals against humans has wiped out much of civilization, and the remaining people are cramped in a small portion of the globe living in a stacked city, with buildings on top of buildings. Mika, Ellie’s twin brother, lives in the lower regions and his family believes Ellie is dead, but Mika has a feeling she is still alive somewhere. When Mika succeeds at a new arcade game competition, he thinks he has found a way to be reunited with his sister. The novel is pretty long and complex, and it loses some steam in the middle, but I had to keep reading to find out what would happen. Older readers who enjoy The Roar
would also like the young adult novels The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game
by Orson Scott Card.