Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: The Midnight Charter (Whitley)

AUTHOR: David Whitley
SERIES: Agora Trilogy, book 1
PAGES: 384
PUBLISHER:Roaring Brook Press
PUBLICATION DATE: August 6, 2009
SOURCE: my library
GENRE: fantasy/ dystopia
GIVE IT TO: MS fantasy readers

SUMMARY: A deadly plague is sweeping the city of Agora. Mark and Lily, two young teens who meet by chance and become friends, do the best they can to survive. Mark becomes an apprentice to an astrologer, Lily to a doctor. In a city ruled by a powerful and corrupt elite, emotions are bought and sold and debt means certain death. While Mark and Lily believe they are relatively safe, the two friends slowly learn that their destinies are intertwined and that they may be a part of the secret Midnight Charter, a mysterious prophecy devised by Agora's founders.

WHAT I LIKED: Interesting world-building! I love the concept of selling one's emotions for others to consume as drugs. Having read The Children of the Lost first, I loved reading about how Mark and Lily met and became friends. They grow up so much over the course of the two books, and their relationship with each other grows and changes as well. Neither character is perfect, but both do the best they can to survive and do the right thing by the people they love.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I liked The Midnight Charter; I LOVED The Children of the Lost. The Children of the Lost is a much stronger story. A couple of my students who have read The Midnight Charter on my recommendation told me that they had a hard time getting into the story. For one student who couldn't get past about 40 pages, I suggested reading The Children of the Lost first then going back and fill in the gaps with The Midnight Charter. I have to agree that this one is a bit slower-moving than the second one, but I am waiting on pins and needles for the third installment!

  • LANGUAGE: none
  • SEXUALITY: none
  • VIOLENCE: a girl is murdered

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We have it; it is checked out some. I plan to add it to our school's 2011-2012 Lone Star Plus reading list.

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