Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Always War: By Margaret Haddix



For as long as Tessa can remember, her country has been at war. When local golden boy Gideon Thrall is awarded a medal for courage, it’s a rare bright spot for everyone in Tessa’s town—until Gideon refuses the award, claims he was a coward, and runs away. Tessa is bewildered, and can’t help but follow Gideon to find out the truth. But Tessa is in for more than she bargained for. Before she knows it, she has stowed away on a rogue airplane and is headed for enemy territory. But all that pales when she discovers a shocking truth that rocks the foundation of everything she’s ever believed—a truth that will change the world. But is Tessa strong enough to bring it into the light?


At some points in time I felt like The Always War was a little juvenile. At others I felt like it was trying to send a message to advanced for its readers. And yet throughout most it I found myself really enjoying it.

I credit this mostly to Haddix’s fantastic writing skills and her ability to maintain constant action and tension throughout the book. This book is great for readers in middle grades who want some fast paced action with short chapters that leave the reader wanting more each time.

While some of the characters leave a little to be desired in terms of complexity, they accomplish their goals in the story and move on. Some readers will enjoy this, and if looking at this in the eyes of a middle grade reader, this level will work fine. Further, while not all the characters are complex, they do deal with more advanced situations and lessons than one would expect, increasing the satisfaction gained from the story itself. In fact the story itself is appealing as it’s full of action, deception, and character realization.

All in all The Always War is like an action movie broken up into mine segments, almost like a soap opera. It is full of action and deception, and for middle grade readers looking for something quick and nonstop, this will be a great read.


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Published: November 15, 2011

Price: $16.99

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