Friday, July 31, 2015

Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Imagine, for the first thirteen years of your life you’ve lived in the small town of Serenity, New Mexico.  The town has been voted #1 for Quality of Life for fourteen years in a row.  Honesty and integrity are the highest values in town. There are only a total of thirty kids in town. Everyone learns the usual subjects in school, as well courses like Contentment and Mediation.  The main sport is water polo. Homes are spacious and have swimming pools. The town has no crime, no unemployment; all parents have good jobs with many working in the only industry in town, the plastics factory.  Sounds like a perfect life?  Maybe. At least that’s what Eli, Amber, Tori, Hector and Malik used to think. Then Eli tries to bike outside the city limits and becomes terribly sick.  His best friend mysterious leaves town.  But worst of all, the adults in town start acting weird.  Even his own father seems to be hiding something.  Eli fears the worst, could his father actually be lying to him?

Masterminds in the first novel in a new series by author Gordon Korman.  It has all the elements of a blockbuster novel for middle grade readers!  The town of Serenity at first seems like a utopian society, something along the lines of the town in The Giver.  But Masterminds takes place in the present, not the future.  So while at times the genre may seem like science fiction, it has an eerie quality of possibly being realistic fiction. Could this story actually happen?  Do scientists have all the technology they need?  The questions the story poses will make for some interesting conversations.
The story quickly becomes so shocking and unexpected that readers will find it difficult to put the book down. This will be a must read series for many, including me!

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