Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates

by:  Eva Gray
published by:  Scholastic
publish date:  May 1st, 2011

In a terrifying future world, four girls must depend on each other if they want to survive.

Louisa is nervous about being sent away to a boarding school -- but she’s excited, too. And she has her best friend, Maddie, to keep her company. The girls have to pretend to be twin sisters, which Louisa thinks just adds to the adventure!

Country Manor School isn’t all excitement, though. Louisa isn’t sure how she feels about her new roommates: athletic but snobby Rosie and everything’s-a-conspiracy Evelyn. Even Maddie seems different away from home, quiet and worried all the time.

Still, Louisa loves CMS -- the survival skills classes, the fresh air. She doesn’t even miss not having a TV, or the internet, or any contact with home. It’s for their own safety, after all.

Or is it?

Behind the Gates is Book #1 in a series of dystopian stories aimed at Middle Graders.  It's set in a not too distant future in a war torn United States.  Children are sent to schools in the countryside to escape the difficult life in the city.  Behind the Gates opens with Louisa and Maddie getting on the bus to leave for Country Manor School.

I'm a real fan of dystopian lit and it's not surprising that it's trickled down into the MG reading level.  I noticed that this book was copyrighted by Suzanne Weyn who is the writer of the book Empty which is a YA level dystopian book.  While I though Empty was ok, I thought this book was much better.  My biggest problem with Empty was the preachiness of it.  I didn't notice so much of that in this book, which is good because kids are far more impressionable at this age.  This book focuses a lot on being self-reliant, that's a positive! 

I think these books could be quite popular with a wide variety of "tween" girls.  It has a lot of elements that would appeal to a broad spectrum, adventure, sports, friend drama, insecurities, etc.  Great summer reading book!  Nosing around I found some more great summer reading ideas from Scholastic.  Check these out.
Summer Reading Challenge 10-12
Summer Reading Challenge Young Adult


Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Sounds like a super read for tweens. I haven't heard of the series. Thanks for a very nice review.

Unknown said...

I always enjoy what other people are reading and this seems like a good fit for that age.