(8/20) The Maze Runner – “20 YA Novels for Adolescents”

The Maze Runner is young adult fantasy and science fiction novel written by James Dashner. It was published on October 6, 2009 and it consists of 416 pages. The awards and nominees for the novel were:

  • BIG NATE. 2008 Whitney Award for Best Youth Fiction.
  • THE MAZE RUNNER. 2011 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults; 2012 Young Reader’s Choice Award, intermediate grades.

The Maze Runner is about a group of teenagers who wake up to find themselves trapped in the middle of a maze. Not only that, but they also have no memory as to how they got there or how there previous life was like. Throughout the novel, the teens attempt to make sense of everything that is happening and attempt to find a way to escape.

I would recommend this novel to fifth graders and up. I would let students read it individually and I would recommend it to all the students who are generally into apocalyptic stories, especially zombie apocalypse. I’m personally not into zombie apocalypse movies, shows, and novels, but there are so many stories out there, including The Maze Runner, that do it in a way that makes it unique and stands out from other zombie apocalyptic stories. Two other example I can give is a WEBTOON called All of Us Are Dead and a movie called Train to Busan, both of which are Korean stories/projects.

For a read aloud, I would especially read:

  • Pgs. 6 – 8, “Thomas Arrives to the Maze”.

  • Pgs. 9 – 12, “Thomas’ Curiousity and Confusion about the Glades”.

I really loved how this novel is not a graphic novel. The reason I say this is because I have never read a novel about a zombie apocalypse, unless it was a graphic novel. I never even imagined a story about a zombie apocalypse being a novel because I felt that it was hard to execute. When I read about the novel before reading it, I understood the general idea, but I was expecting to read about any zombies in the story, which really impressed me as a result to how well the author executed it. Despite it not being a graphic novel, James Dashner did an amazing job in capturing my attention and keeping my eyes hooked on to every single line.

I would love to explore more novels from James Dashner and I wonder if he has any novels in genres that I also have never imagined being written as novels. If he does have novels like this, I would love to try them as I do trust that he managed to make the stories work as novels like how it worked with The Maze Runner. Since it is a novel series, I will definitely continue to read it and I hope they are just as good as the first one here.

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