The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner

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Series: Maze Runner Series Vol. 1   

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Annotation: When sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze, he realizes he must work with the community in order to escape.
Catalog Number: #33233
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Pages: 375 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-385-73795-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-48679-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-385-73795-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-48679-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2009001345
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
As with many recent stories being spread over multiple volumes, this often-exciting but ultimately frustrating opener reads more like an extended prologue than a fully realized novel. Thomas, his memory wiped out, is thrust into the center of an enormous maze, where other teens have constructed a survivalist society. No one knows why they're there, or where they came from, but each day they send out runners into the constantly shifting, monster-infested labyrinth to search for a way out. As memories start to trickle back in and circumstances grow increasingly dire, Thomas suspects he knows more about the maze than he should. The withholding and then revelation of crucial information tend toward contrivance and convenience, but the tantalizing hints of a ravaged world outside make for gripping reading. Although this opening volume will appeal to the same audience as hot dystopian thrillers like The Hunger Games (2008), it doesn't promise the same level of devotion. With much of the more intriguing head-game aspects left unexplored, though, the potential for a rousing continuation of the story certainly exists.
Horn Book
Thomas wakes up with no memory, surrounded by boys around his own age. He has been placed in a maze with obstacles and monsters to fight, but more important is figuring out how he got there--and what happened to the adults. The story is fast-paced and gripping, with unexpected twists (though readers familiar with sci-fi of this type may not be surprised).
Kirkus Reviews
Boys come to the Glade via an empty freight elevator with no memory of how they got there or of their prior lives. This disorientation is made more frightening when they realize that to survive they must lock themselves in every night to avoid the horrors of the Grievers, beings that are part machine, part animal—and altogether deadly. The boys in the Glade send out Runners each day to find a way out through the Maze that surrounds their one patch of safety, with no success. Life goes on until one day the elevator delivers a girl. She brings a message: She is the last child to be sent, and there will be no more deliveries of food or supplies. Now the Glade is cut off, and as the Grievers gather for an all-out attack it's clear that it's now or never—the Maze must be solved. Dashner knows how to spin a tale and make the unbelievable realistic. Hard to put down, this is clearly just a first installment, and it will leave readers dying to find out what comes next. (Science fiction. 12 & up)
Publishers Weekly

Dashner (the 13th Reality series) offers up a dark and gripping tale of survival set in a world where teenagers fight for their lives on a daily basis. It starts when Thomas, a teenage amnesiac, wakes up in the Glade, a fragile oasis in the middle of an enormous maze. Here, a group of teenage boys eke out a hazardous existence, exploring the Maze by day and retreating to the Glade at night. No one knows how they got there; no one has ever found a way out (“Old life's over, new life's begun. Learn the rules quick,” the group's leader tells Thomas). Bizarre technological monsters called Grievers patrol the Maze's corridors, almost certain death for any who encounter them. Thomas struggles to regain his memories, but the arrival of a young woman with an ominous message changes the rules of the game. With a fast-paced narrative steadily answering the myriad questions that arise and an ever-increasing air of tension, Dashner's suspenseful adventure will keep readers guessing until the very end, which paves the way for the inevitable continuation. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)

School Library Journal
Gr 610 Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers. Unfortunately, the question of whether the teens will escape the maze is answered 30 pages before the book ends, and the intervening chapter loses momentum. The epilogue, which would be deliciously creepy coming immediately after the plot resolves, fails to pack a punch as a result. That said, The Maze Runner has a great hook, and fans of dystopian literature, particularly older fans of Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember (Random, 2003), will likely enjoy this title and ask for the inevitable sequel. Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
Voice of Youth Advocates
Thomas wakes up in a box with no memory of who he is or where he comes from beyond his name. When the doors open, he is tossed into the disorienting world of the glade, a place built by the mysterious Creators with unknown intentions, where survival and escape are the goal and no one can remember how they got there. Surrounding the glade is the maze, into which runners race everyday searching for an exit, and where horrible creatures called grievers roam to hunt the boys. As he learns the ropes of life in the glade, Thomas finds himself drawn toward the maze and being a runner, while he tries to remember anything he can about his past, certain that the answers are locked away in his head. When a girl arrives in the glade, everything changes and a desperate end game begins for everyone. Dashner creates a dangerously captivating world filled with riveting action and suspense, leaving the reader anxious for more. Thrilling twists and turns make this superb plot even better as it moves at a steady but enticing pace. The various clues hidden in the maze and glade will pique readers' curiosity as they search alongside the characters for the answers to the many questions of the glade. The dynamic characters Dashner creates round off this incredible story, making it as bright as the trilogy it has begun.ùSusan Hampe.
Word Count: 101,182
Reading Level: 5.3
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.3 / points: 15.0 / quiz: 133240 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.7 / points:24.0 / quiz:Q48080
Guided Reading Level: X
Fountas & Pinnell: X
Chapter 1


He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.
Metal ground against metal; a lurching shudder shook the floor beneath him. He fell down at the sudden movement and shuffled backward on his hands and feet, drops of sweat beading on his forehead despite the cool air. His back struck a hard metal wall; he slid along it until he hit the corner of the room. Sinking to the floor, he pulled his legs up tight against his body, hoping his eyes would soon adjust to the darkness.

With another jolt, the room jerked upward like an old lift in a mine shaft.

Harsh sounds of chains and pulleys, like the workings of an ancient steel factory, echoed through the room, bouncing off the walls with a hollow, tinny whine. The lightless elevator swayed back and forth as it ascended, turning the boy's stomach sour with nausea; a smell like burnt oil invaded his senses, making him feel worse. He wanted to cry, but no tears came; he could only sit there, alone, waiting.

My name is Thomas, he thought.

That... that was the only thing he could remember about his life.

He didn't understand how this could be possible. His mind functioned without flaw, trying to calculate his surroundings and predicament. Knowledge flooded his thoughts, facts and images, memories and details of the world and how it works. He pictured snow on trees, running down a leaf-strewn road, eating a hamburger, the moon casting a pale glow on a grassy meadow, swimming in a lake, a busy city square with hundreds of people bustling about their business.

And yet he didn't know where he came from, or how he'd gotten inside the dark lift, or who his parents were. He didn't even know his last name. Images of people flashed across his mind, but there was no recognition, their faces replaced with haunted smears of color. He couldn't think of one person he knew, or recall a single conversation.

The room continued its ascent, swaying; Thomas grew immune to the ceaseless rattling of the chains that pulled him upward. A long time passed. Minutes stretched into hours, although it was impossible to know for sure because every second seemed an eternity. No. He was smarter than that. Trusting his instincts, he knew he'd been moving for roughly half an hour.

Strangely enough, he felt his fear whisked away like a swarm of gnats caught in the wind, replaced by an intense curiosity. He wanted to know where he was and what was happening.

With a groan and then a clonk, the rising room halted; the sudden change jolted Thomas from his huddled position and threw him across the hard floor. As he scrambled to his feet, he felt the room sway less and less until it finally stilled. Everything fell silent.

A minute passed. Two. He looked in every direction but saw only darkness; he felt along the walls again, searching for a way out. But there was nothing, only the cool metal. He groaned in frustration; his echo amplified through the air, like the haunted moan of death. It faded, and silence returned. He screamed, called for help, pounded on the walls with his fists.

Nothing.

Thomas backed into the corner once again, folded his arms and shivered, and the fear returned. He felt a worrying shudder in his chest, as if his heart wanted to escape, to flee his body.

"Someone... help... me!" he screamed; each word ripped his throat raw.

A loud clank rang out above him and he sucked in a startled breath as he looked up. A straight line of light appeared across the ceiling of the room, and Thomas watched as it expanded. A heavy grating sound revealed double sliding doors being forced open. After so long in darkness, the light stabbed his eyes; he looked away, covering his face with both hands.

He heard noises above--voices--and fear squeezed his chest.

"Look at that shank."

"How old is he?"

"Looks like a kl

Excerpted from The Maze Runner by James Dashner
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Discussion Guide: Maze Runner Discussion Guide

Educator's Guide: Maze Runner Educator's Guide

Book one in the blockbuster Maze Runner series that spawned a movie franchise and ushered in a worldwide phenomenon! And don’t miss The Fever Code, the highly-anticipated series conclusion that finally reveals the story of how the maze was built!
 
   When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.
   Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.
   Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run.

The Maze Runner and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and Maze Runner: The Death Cure all are now major motion pictures featuring the star of MTV's Teen Wolf, Dylan O’Brien; Kaya Scodelario; Aml Ameen; Will Poulter; and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
 
Also look for James Dashner’s edge-of-your-seat MORTALITY DOCTRINE series!

Praise for the Maze Runner series:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
USA Today Bestseller
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year
An ALA-YASLA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick
 
“[A] mysterious survival saga that passionate fans describe as a fusion of Lord of the FliesThe Hunger Games, and Lost.” —EW.com
 
“Wonderful action writing—fast-paced…but smart and well observed.” Newsday
 
“[A] nail-biting must-read.” Seventeen.com
 
“Breathless, cinematic action.” —Publishers Weekly
 
Heart pounding to the very last moment.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
Exclamation-worthy.” —Romantic Times
 
“James Dashner’s illuminating prequel [The Kill Order] will thrill fans of this Maze Runner [series] and prove just as exciting for readers new to the series.” —Shelf Awareness, Starred

Take a deep breath before you start any James Dashner book.” —Deseret News


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