Monday, 9 June 2014

Monument 14 & Monutment 14: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Set in Monument, Colorado, fourteen school kids experience a fantasy and a nightmare rolled in together.  First you get a lengthy time off school and are locked in a huge department store with no adults to stop you  from indulging in your favourite treats.  Unfortunately, locked in the store with you are a bunch of other kids, from kindergartners to other class mates you are not on good terms with.

A series of ecological disasters means that its not safe to exit the building or to breath the outside air.  You have lots of physical resources but very little information from the outside world.  Then when the outside comes knocking at your door, you question whether you can trust it/them and when is it safe to open that door.

A big shout out to all those school bus drivers who care for our children every day.  Mrs. Wooly, is the school bus driver who brings these fourteen students to safety and then ventures out in search of help.

Our narrator is Dean Grieder, a junior in high school.  He already has opinions of most of the older kids and quickly labels the little ones.  It was interesting to watch how his thoughts and feeling for them changed through the course of the story.  Not all of his assumptions held true once he started living with and working with these people everyday.  He found strengths in them that he could never have guessed at.

I really want to tell you more about how NORAD is involved and about the trouble with blood types, but that would reveal too much.  Monument 14 and it's related stories would be a great choice for your summer reading, oh yes, and don't forget to share it with your pre-teen and teen child, they'll love it as well.

The story of the Monument 14 school kids continues in Sky on Fire.  The group is now divided physically, but they are determined to re-unite.

This is a very fast paced telling with no time to site back and relax.  It is a one sitting read, as you won't want to put it down once you start.

We learn more about the strengths (moral fibre) of the characters and we finally feel the governments response.  We also learn how others in the community have reacted to this catastrophe.  These varied responses seem  very true to me.

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Savage Drift, the next book in this series.

Monument 14 Novels and companion stories:

Monument 14
Sky on Fire
Savage Drift - due out this month

Jake and the other Girl  - free at

Dress Your Marines in White -  free at
What Mario Scietto Says  - free at

Cover images from author Elly Laybourne's website.

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