Guest blogger: Grace Brown
I love The Maze Runner by James Dashner. It’s one of my favorite books, right up there with The Hunger Games. But I almost didn’t keep reading it, because the first part was boring.
I liked the VERY beginning because it didn’t start off with the main character, Thomas, in his normal everyday life. It started right in the dystopian world, a maze. Right after the very beginning, though, it slowed down while the author set up a lot of details, which I didn’t like as much. From the time Thomas came out of the box (p. 3) until the girl shows up (p. 58), it felt slow. I’m not even sure why it felt slow; maybe because even though some things were happening, and I was learning things about the maze and the other kids, Thomas wasn’t really DOING anything.
So why did I keep reading? I was in a competition with a friend for who would finish first. I’m glad I kept reading, because it’s one of my favorite books, but I’m not sure I would have otherwise. I probably would have, because it’s on a list of books that people might like if they liked The Hunger Games.
I’m not sure that I’ll change my habits and continue reading something even if it feels slow. Maybe, maybe not. I’m not crazy about reading the boring parts.
Note by Grace's mother, Cynthia: I just about fell off my chair when Grace said the reason she kept reading The Maze Runner. For my part, I didn't find the beginning of The Maze Runner boring at all. But compared to the latter two-thirds of the book, it is somewhat "slower." It is a wake-up call to me that 7th-graders have a different perspective from adults, and I need to continually be reminded of that. Certainly, many kids like things slowed down a bit, but many want things to move very quickly.
Grace and I were talking about types of books (she prefers dystopias and fantasy), and I mentioned realistic fiction. I love this quote by her:
"Ugh. Realistic fiction. That's like those books they shove on you at school."
No doubt, a 12-year-old will tell it like they see it.