Clayton, Emma. 2009. THE ROAR. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780439925938 [Suggested Grade Levels 6- 10]
Humanity lives without any signs of nature, crowding behind protective walls from the nuclear annihilation of supposedly mad wildlife. There are clearly drawn lines between the “haves” and “have-nots,” lines of poverty, health, and food. Through the lure of a video game, the ruling powers promise riches as they seek those who can master the violent game. Caught in this manipulative net is Mika whose twin sister Ellie disappeared. Set amidst a dystopian future, Mika battles control, poverty and family strife, as he sets out alone to find his supposedly dead twin. Through tenacity and awakening powers, both Ellie and Mika slowly fight their way back to each other and to the truth of their world.
Clayton has created a dark, manipulative world that captures the reader’s imagination through the journey of a young man willing to do anything to find his sister. With a clearly identifiable antagonist and protagonist, the author masterfully blends the dystopian theme with an internal story that is rock solid in its believability. Rich with the character’s internal voice, the story conveys Mika’s connection and love for his twin. Both stand as clearly believable individuals seeking to change their world.
One may wish to have readers collect and organize information about twins and the results of studies of their ability to be emotionally and mentally connected. This information will enrich the reader’s experience as the twin relationship is what drives the events in the story.
Other books with a dystopian theme:
DePrau, Jeanne. THE CITY OF EMBER. ISBN 9780375822735
Collins, Suzanne. THE HUNGER GAMES. ISBN 9780439023481
Goodman, Allegra. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND. ISBN 9781595141958
By Christine J. Rayl