The NH Isinglass Teen Read Award Committee recently unveiled the nominee list for 2015-16. All of these titles were recommended by 7th and 8th graders in NH, and then reviewed and narrowed down to a list of 12 titles by professional public and school librarians. I’ll be presenting the list throughout the year and I hope you find something interesting for yourself or your students to read.
The Eye of Minds, the first titles in The Mortality Doctrine Series, is another fast, fun, and dangerous adventure from a previous Isinglass author James Dashner. Michael is a gifted hacker who spends plenty of time with his buddies on the VirtNet, or the Sleep, the virtual world of the near future, which offers gamers total mind and body immersion when they hook into the Sleep by stepping into a “coffin.”
The story opens with a great hook – Michael is trying to complete a quest in the VirtNet that requires him to talk another player, Tanya, out of jumping off a bridge to earn Experience Points. But her reaction is much stronger, more real and more grisly than anything that’s happened to him in the game before. She has a look of real terror in her eyes and claims that someone has trapped her in the VirtNet, someone named Kaine, but she’s not going to be his victim anymore because she’s going to rip out her core. And then, frozen in horror, Michael watches as she digs her fingers into the side of her head, using her coding skills to affect her virtual Aura, and pulls out a bloody chip – her core – killing both her virtual and real self. Shaken, Michael wonders if anything the girl said was real. Soon, he finds out, because he is recruited by mysterious government agents who need a skilled gamer to stop Kaine from inside the VirtNet. With his buddies Bryson and Sarah, two of the best hackers he’s met in the Sleep, Michael accepts the mission in hopes to save everything he loves – in both the virtual and real world.
There’s plenty of adventure and mystery to keep readers turning pages.