Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan

Title:  Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author:  Carrie Ryan
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Year:  2009
Pages:  320
Genre:  Dystopian Science Fiction
Themes:  Survival, First Love
Age Levels:  7th through 12th Grade

Mary knows little about the past and why the world now contains two types of people: those in her village and the undead outside the fence, who prey upon the flesh of the living. The Sisters protect their village and provide for the continuance of the human race. After her mother is bitten and joins the Unconsecrated, Mary is sent to the Sisters to be prepared for marriage to her friend Harry. But then the fences are breached and the life she has known is gone forever. Mary; Harry; Travis, whom Mary loves but who is betrothed to her best friend; her brother and his wife; and an orphaned boy set out into the unknown to search for safety, answers to their questions, and a reason to go on living.
(From School Library Journal)

If you liked M. Night Shyamalan's movie The Village, and you like zombies, then you will probably like this book.  While I enjoyed this book, I'm not sure that I would say that it is one of the best examples of dystopian young adult literature that I've read.  There were moments when it had similar suspense to Hunger Games, but without the emotional impact.  It had elements of the drudgery of The Road, but without the masterful use of language.  All in all, I think that this book (and the ones that follow) would be best used as part of a larger unit on dystopian literature, perhaps as a choice book for students to read after studying Hunger Games or Life as We Knew It.

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