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Scythe Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Shusterman, Neal
ISBN: 144247243X     ISBN-13: 9781442472433
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    OUR PRICE: $10.79  
Product Type: Paperback
Published: November 2017
Annotation: In a world in which the only way to die is to be killed by a scythe, Citra and Rowan compete to earn a position as a scythe's apprentice--a competition that will see the loser die by the hand of the winner.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Death; Fiction.
Murder; Fiction.
Science fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2016006502
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Series: Arc of a Scythe
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 1.25" (0.80 lbs) 433 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 186662
Reading Level: 6.5   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 17.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q70094
Reading Level: 6.4   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 24.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Spring)
With new technology, mortality is a thing of the past, except "scythes" are responsible for "gleaning" to restrict population growth. Citra and Rowan are selected as scythe apprentices; neither wants the role. Then a radical scythe, who does enjoy killing, insists that the winner of a contest glean the losing apprentice. A philosophical exploration of life and death packaged as a high-action adventure. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2016 #6)
With new technology, mortality has become a thing of the past, with one exception: "scythes" are responsible for "gleaning"—that is to say, killing—their fellow citizens to restrict population growth to a sustainable rate. Teens Citra Terranova and Rowan Damisch are both horrified and intrigued when Honorable Scythe Faraday selects them to be his apprentices, to train with him for one year and compete to see which one will become a scythe. Neither wants the role, but: "‘Therein lies the paradox of the profession,' Faraday said. ‘Those who wish to have the job should not have it…and those who would most refuse to kill are the only ones who should.'" But then a dangerously radical scythe, who does enjoy killing, insists that the winner must glean the losing apprentice, setting off a cascade of events that leads to a much more personal, and deadly, contest. Using diary entries and character musings, Shusterman explores aspects of death, including the ways mortality lends meaning to life; his canvas is large enough that he can entertain both gruesome and humorous aspects, while the central question—could you kill if required to do so?—will keep readers transfixed. As events wind up, Shusterman's moral questions become more and more pointed while the stakes become higher and higher, leading to a philosophical exploration of life and death packaged as a Jason Bourne–like high-action adventure. anita l. burkam Copyright 2016 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2016 October #1)
In the future Earth of this grim novel from National Book Award–winner Shusterman (Challenger Deep), the digital cloud has transformed into the self-aware Thunderhead, whose benevolent totalitarian rule has turned the planet into a utopia. There's no poverty or crime, and everyone is guaranteed immortality. Well, almost everyone. Because babies are still being born, population growth must be limited. Thus evolved the Scythes, an organization whose members are charged with "gleaning" citizens at random. Sixteen-year-old Citra and Rowan are chosen by a Scythe named Faraday to train as apprentices. Neither likes the idea, but they're given no choice. Later, Citra becomes an apprentice to Curie, a legendary Scythe, but Rowan is apprenticed to Goddard, who kills for sadistic pleasure. Calling to mind Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," Shusterman's story forces readers to confront difficult ethical questions. Is the gleaning of a few acceptable if it maximizes the happiness of all? Is it possible to live a moral life within such a system? This powerful tale is guaranteed to make readers think deeply. Ages 12–up. Agent: Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary. (Nov.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 December)

Gr 8 Up—In a world where humanity has conquered death and a fraternity called Scythes are the only ones allowed to kill people in order to curb overpopulation, Citra Terranova and Rowan Damisch must cope with their newfound and terrible responsibilities as apprentices in killing. A brilliant and gripping sci-fi thriller that acutely explores the consequences of worldwide immortality and asks readers to think critically about the nature of morality.

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 October)
Gr 8 Up—In a world in which humanity has conquered death (no aging, no disease, no poverty, no war), ruled by the Thunderhead, an omniscient evolution of today's cloud, Scythes are the only ones who are allowed to take a human life. They are considered to be the best humanity has to offer, and they roam the world "gleaning" people in order to keep the population in check. Scythes are treated like royalty and feared. The last thing Citra Terranova and Rowan Damisch want is to become Scythes, but when they are chosen by Scythe Faraday to become his apprentices, they are thrown into a life in which they need to master the art of death. They prove to be apt pupils, but when Scythe Faraday mysteriously gleans himself and Citra and Rowan are apprenticed to two other fearsome Scythes, they will have to put their skills to the test against each other. Intertwined with the fascinating concept of humanity conquering death and the idea of Scythes is the prospect that perhaps this is not the ideal world in which to live. Humanity has perfected itself—so what does that leave it to accomplish? Shusterman starts off this series in dramatic fashion as he creates an engrossing world that pulls readers in and refuses to let them go. VERDICT A truly astounding, unputdownable read and a fast-paced beginning to an excellent sci-fi series. A must-have.—Tyler Hixson, School Library Journal. Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.