I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

698641601Lynn: Unless you are one of those irritating people who read it overnight, you are probably immersed in Mockingjay right now. I am reading it as fast as I can and trying to avoid the spoilers on the listservs. What IS it with those people? They can’t wait till Monday to start discussing? Some of us have lives, small energetic children to keep up with, college students to move! Humpff! Anyway, when you do surface you will surely find a horde of teens asking what they can read next.

Here is one terrific page-turner of a book to hand them. I Am Number Four (Harper 2010) is the perfect book for those last precious days of summer. I remember reading the blurb on the galley when it arrived and thinking that it really sounded like fun. I hauled it in for our book club and that was the last I saw of the book for weeks. The teens adored it, raved about it at our meetings and handed it off to each other. I finally exerted executive authority and grabbed the book to read myself. You can’t beat the premise. A group of aliens fled to Earth ten years ago following the destruction of their planet, Lorien. The nine young children with their mentors have hidden here, moving constantly, waiting for their tremendous powers to develop during their adolescence. They are being hunted by the evil Mogadarians who not only want kill them but also have plans to wipe out all life on Earth. The story focuses on young John Smith who is weary of running and hiding and wants to try to live a normal life. For the first time he has friends and has fallen in love. But the news is dire. The Loriens can only be killed in strict order. Number Three just went to the great spaceship in the sky and John is Number Four!

You don’t want to spend any time dwelling on plausibility – just hang on for the ride. Happily there are more books to come from the mysterious Pittacus Lore. This is high-energy escapism at its best – enjoy!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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