, Good science fiction introduction for adolescents, but stealing too many ideas from other authors to be a worthwhile read for experienced readers Atwood, Bradbury, Orwell and Co just do it a lot better It is a nice idea to have the protagonist carry the last book in his head as a story to be told later, when people appreciate books again, but it is far too close to the ending scene of Fahrenheit 451, in which all refugees wander around reciting lost books to themselves The genetically improved human race brings you back to Brave New World with Alphas and Betas and Gammas.And of course the Newspeak invented for this novel is not that new at all We can draw from endless sources, beginning with 1984 and A Clockwork Orange,Here you are cancelled when you die, in The Giver you are released, in Never Let Me Go you complete All the same euphemisms for passingNevertheless, it is a good read for middle schoolers. ANOTHER NEW FAVE It starts out pretty slowly, but the ending is remarkable Another book that shows how sad the world would be without books Indulges the passion for books. The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick is a book far in a possible future, a thousand years after the great shake There are genetically engineered people who are designed for health and intelligence and live in a special lush area called Eden Everyone else lives under grey skies, in a concrete world, trying to get by Gangs control areas and it is deadly to cross the leader of the your boss or to cross into another zone No health care, care for orphans, etc This is about a guy that gets word his foster sister is dying and he wants to see her one last time The trip ends up with a orphan boy, an old man, an enhanced girl, and himself crossing many zones Lots of suspense and action A very terrifying look at what life could be like but with a glimmer of hope too. This book was ok I think if kids enjoy sci fi then this is probably a good choice, but it felt dated, even though it s only 8 years old There s a lot of word play that was interesting, and a lot of mature themes that would make an excellent adult book it just didn t translate so well to a younger audience A library consultant just lost his job because, after reading this book to sixth graders, someone objected to the book being included in an elementary school library Instead of defending the book as he should and could have , he refused to talk with his bosses about it until they had read the book, and he was fired as a result of this stubborness IMHO and other issues, apparently.Is the book appropriate for sixth graders Skip this paragraph for sort of spoilers Sure, if they re mature enough to handle mind probes, continual threats, and a short but graphic scene of a main character getting killed Sure, if they can even get the point of the story resume reading here The language is easy, which makes it automatically look easy enough for sixth graders to read I m just not sure it s all that great a read Does it belong in an elementary school library I wouldn t want a second grader who reads at a higher level to get their hands on it, that s for sure But having sixth graders and first graders together in one school makes it tricky I d totally put this in a middle school or junior high school library that had sixth graders, so are we dumbing down the content for districts that put these kids with younger grades I don t know I guess it could be an interesting enough book, but I wasn t superbly impressed. We listened to this as a family on a trip to Lake Powell, and we all liked it a lot It first grabbed and held our attention because the hero is epileptic, as is one of our sons How often does epilepsy play a part in saving the world It does in this book Thank goodness for authors who can incorporate teens illnesses into stories in a positive light without preaching That bit of the story may mean nothing to most readers, but it was a nice boost for our family.The reader was that same guy who was the translator writer in Saving Private Ryan, and is now the twitchy scientist on LOST He projects an overwhelmed, confused sense in his delivery, and it works well It s set in a bleak, futuristic society, and his style and voice are a good match for the teen age narrator He reads all the voices, and does well with them.It feels like a huge accomplishment to find a book and reader that will entertain two adults, an 18 year old, a 15 year old and a 9 year old When I checked this out, I also checked out seven other books on CD We tried out all of them and didn t make it even two chapters into any of the others In contrast, when we reached our hotel, we kept driving around so that we could hear the last chapter of this book. This Fast Paced Action Novel Is Set In A Future Where The World Has Been Almost Destroyed Like The Award Winning Novel Freak The Mighty, This Is Philbrick At His Very BestIt S The Story Of An Epileptic Teenager Nicknamed Spaz, Who Begins The Heroic Fight To Bring Human Intelligence Back To The Planet In A World Where Most People Are Plugged Into Brain Drain Entertainment Systems, Spaz Is The Rare Human Being Who Can See Life As It Really Is When He Meets An Old Man Called Ryter, He Begins To Learn About Earth And Its Past With Ryter As His Companion, Spaz Sets Off An Unlikely Quest To Save His Dying Sister And In The Process, Perhaps The World Philbrick has written a decent addition to the utopia dystopia genre The best parts of this book are the fast pace and the surprising ending Philbrick s dystopian world also has some compelling aspects For this book to get four or five stars, I would want to see better description In general, I think the writer could have added depth to the characters I would recommend this book to fifth and sixth grade readers who enjoy the utopia dystopia genre. .