Originally posted at my other blog: Mrs. Archer’s Book Notes.
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.
You’ll Like It Here (Everybody Does) by Ruth White
From the back of the book:
“Meggie Blue seems like an average kid with a regular family — a mother, a brother, a grandfather. But after the Blues’ neighbors come in the night to terrorize them and they flee in an unusual way, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems.
After escaping their attackers, the Blues arrive in a place called Fashion City. Fashion City is clean and safe, happy and peaceful. “You’ll like it here. Everybody does,” the Blues are told over and over again. But when they are befriended by another Fashion City family, they begin to learn some frightening truths about this supposedly utopian spot. The city is controlled by the Father. Everyone must dress in drab colors. Those who disobey the rules are arrested for being grossly unique.
Then Gramps is taken for the crime of growing old and whisked away for “Vacation 65.” Will the Blues be able to rescue Gramps and escape Fashion City before it’s too late?”
This is an excellent sci-fi dystopian for middle grade students, a good read for those not quite ready for The Hunger Games. It is rather different from White’s previous works. There is a touch of political commentary regarding corporate greed, but it’s not overtly stated until very near the end.
What I liked about the book: The characters are well thought out with good depth. The relationships (siblings, friendships, etc) seem realistic. Though this is a sci-fi – alternate reality story, much of the story feels like a mix between historical and contemporary fiction. I enjoyed the appearance of some recognizable characters: Mr. Lincoln, Mr. King, Elvis and perhaps my favorite: L. Frank Baum. I really like that White geared her story toward younger readers. Many of my elementary students are eager to read the hot titles (Hunger Games, Maze Runner, etc) that their older siblings are reading. This is a nice introduction to dystopian fiction. It’s a clean read (for parents who might be concerned about content), a little creepy, but not too scary and no violence.
What I didn’t like about the book: The first chapter or two were a little confusing, but that quickly worked itself out as the story progressed.
Recommended for Grades 4 and up.
Mrs. Archer’s rating 4 of 5.