The Maze Runner


Title: The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner

Summary:  Thomas doesn’t remember his parents, his friends, or anything from his past life.  He doesn’t even know how he got in the elevator that is climbing to a place like no other, a place the inhabitants a group of about 60 teenage boys call the Glade.  Once he is pulled from the dark box, Thomas begins to learn about his new home and its occupants the Gladers.  The Gladers suffer from the same memory loss as Thomas and arrived in the same manner.  They live together in the Glade, a large town surrounded by walls that are hundreds of feet high.  The walls form a perfect square around them and each side has the same split opening.  Outside the walls, there is a maze that moves every night. It’s populated with deadly monsters the Gladers call Grievers, but they only come out at night. Fortunately, every night the walls close up protecting the boys. 

Inside the Glade everyone has a job.  Some boys cook, some grow food, some butcher animals, while others tend the sick, but the job Thomas is most interested in is being a runner.  Every day runners venture out into the maze and run through its ever-changing paths memorizing the changes as they go.  Before the walls close, each runner must make it back to the glades and sketch out the new pattern of the walls.  The job of a runner is dangerous but vital because the Gladers believe that the answer to escaping the Glade lies somewhere out in the maze. 
The Gladers have had a pretty routine life with the walls opening every morning and closing every night.  They have come to expect that every 30 days a new boy will be delivered in the elevator.  However, the day after Thomas arrives the routine is dramatically broken.  The elevator arrives with a girl.  Before passing out, she delivers the ominous message “Everything is going to change.” With her arrival, Thomas begins to feel different.  Something tells him that he and the girl can somehow provide the solution to the maze.  A solution that Thomas will have to go to great and dangerous lengths to retrieve from his memory. 

Who will like this?:  Fans of dystopian fiction will fly through this tense thriller.

If you like this, try this:  The follow-up to this book, The Scorch Trials. The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.

Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian