Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw

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Woah, THIS book.  I just finished the book at my desk and my library assistant asked if I liked it.  I pretty much said that first three sentence out loud. She asked me what was it about. I asked if she had every read “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy.  She hadn’t. So I said it was sort of like The Hunger Games. The first book before it all went choppy and lost it’s direction. But also it is NOTHING like The Hunger Games.  It feels post- apocalyptic. But it’s not. There was no apocalypse. It’s not really futuristic either. The best way I could describe it is a “Some Time in the Near Future Refugee Story”.  
What if a wall IS built? What if it keeps it’s citizens in, just as well as it keeps others out? Although you’re probably thinking Hunger Games resistance… it’s much closer to Katniss's accidental resistance of the first novel; Jack Riley just wants to get to Scotland to live with his grandparents.  Problem is, he lives in England and English residents aren’t allowed to leave England. The story is dark and gripping. Which is something my 8th graders are always requesting so I already know it will be on the line up for next year’s Book Club. They like difficult stories, something that pulls them.  Stories that are scary. This checks a lot of their requirements but I also like that it includes courage. But not like the obvious bravery, more like there’s only one option: KEEP MOVING FORWARD. I wouldn’t say it was super fast-paced but it was the sort of story where you end a chapter and drop right into the next one because you need to know what comes next.  
There is a beautifully constructed hardness to it, which is necessary.  This isn’t a light story but it’s spectacular. Easily the best Hunger Games-ish novel I’ve ever read for juvenile fiction.  6th- 8th graders that want a bit of scary and suspense and that liked “Among the Hidden” will love this for sure. It is a little long but in my opinion nothing is in this novel that shouldn’t be (it needs and deserves  its length). This is the first novel I’m putting in my juvenile collection that has more in common with YA style novels than juvenile fiction.
For Ages: 10 years old and up
For Those that Liked: Among the Hidden, City of Ember
***This is the first novel I’m putting in my juvenile collection that has more in common with YA style novels than juvenile fiction.  YA: Matched, The Hunger Games