The Great 2018 Teen Underground Read!

For the past four years, Niles teens have participated in an annual teen book bracket tournament. At the September 2017 Teen Advisory Board meeting, teens designed the tournament on the brick wall in the teen underground. The sweet sixteen titles were selected from three annual reading lists: The Abraham Lincoln Award List, Read for a Lifetime, and the Teens Top Ten. From Teen Read Week in October 2017 to Teen Literature Day during National Library Week in April 2018, fifteen teen judges read and reviewed two books and then picked their choice to go on to the next round of reading and reviewing. The winner of the fourth annual Niles Teen Tournament of Books is Scythe by Neal Shusterman.

Several of the teens who served as judges had to opportunity to meet Neal Shusterman, the author of Scythe, at a luncheon at ALA Annual Conference in June 2017 when they participated in the teen session of Best Fiction Books for Young Adults After he captivated the teens with insights into the inspiration of the creation of the novel, each teen received a signed copy.

Several of the teen judges wrote these enthusiastic reviews:

I have chosen Scythe by Neal Shusterman as my preferred book. Scythe offers insight on a future scenario where all humans are immortal. They live in a world with no hunger, poverty, or natural death. At first glance, you’d see this world as a utopia where all of mankind’s problems are solved. But as you read into the book, you find the main characters, Rowan and Citra, find many flaws in their system. Due to population growths, they must order scythes to kill or “glean” people to make the world seem as it used to when people died naturally. Some of the Scythes with the authority to glean people misuse their power and turn their gleanings into murders. I enjoyed reading Shusterman’s creative plot and found it very interesting how he turned this science fiction book into a romance as well.  At the end of the novel, Citra and Rowan’s romantic relationship is not certain, but you can see the character development within the book and how they begin to have feelings for one another Not only were they colleagues but they eventually turned into rivals that would have to kill each other to reach scythe hood but even after that, their camaraderie remained. Overall, I thought Scythe was an excellent novel that gave readers insight to a world deemed as “perfect” yet with so many flaws. He showed how men, even when civilization has reached its peak, can be savages.


The book Scythe by Neal Shusterman is one of the best books I have read in a while. It does an amazing job with explaining the characters and the storyline. I think my favorite part of the book, in general, is how the author explains the characters and the objects and places around them. The reader can use their entire imagination to explore the world that they read. In this book, the author was amazing at doing this. Every time I had to take a bathroom break from reading for 3 hours straight because the book is so addicting. It felt like I was pressing pause on a movie. Every time I started to read again I was genuinely shocked that I wasn’t watching a movie. Overall the storyline is amazing.  I fell in love with the characters.  I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read.



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