In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson

copyright date: September 2013
primarily marketed for: young adults (7th grade and up)

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is not the kind of book you would typically find in my stack of books to be read.  However, something about it called to me.  And boy am I glad it did!  I am eagerly awaiting the sequel, promised to be released this fall.

The story begins with a gripping prologue that takes place years before the action of the rest of the book.  It is the story of a young boy named David witnessing his father’s death at the hands of Steelheart, a sort of superhuman called an Epic.  Although David is in awe of Steelheart’s power to turn anything that is not living to steel, he is even more amazed to witness Steelheart reveal a weakness.  David is the only human who knows the truth about what happened during that attack and survived.

Years later, when David is eighteen, he has finally caught up with a group of rebels, who fight against Epics.  With the knowledge of what he saw years ago, David hopes to join their team and get revenge on Steelheart. 

The story takes place in the future.  Chicago has been forever altered by Steelheart’s rule and is now referred to as “Newcago.”  I love a good story set in Chicago, but it was far more than the setting that drew me into this action-thriller.  Amidst the action sequences, cool technology, and plot twists, Sanderson plants the seeds for some big ideas.  Through David’s quest for revenge and desire to be part of something bigger than himself, Sanderson forces readers to think about good and evil, right and wrong, war and terrorism.  David’s answers don’t come easy, and nor do answers come easy for the reader. 

It would have been easy to turn this into a flat story of good guys versus bad, but Sanderson has dug much deeper than that to give readers a smart thriller that is as satisfying as it is unsettling.

1 comment:

  1. This has been one of my favorite reads this past year. I loved it!