Recommendations for Middle School Teachers
- Middle school teachers can rejoice that this young adult read races with action and is generally clear of adult language and situations.
- These books can be suggested as independent reads, or to help students reach their Accelerated Reader goals.
- The books range in book level from 4.4 – 4.8.The book points range from 10 – 11. In addition, Patterson touches on the topics of animal testing, genetic engineering, computer chip tracking, morals and ethics. These are great discussion topics for the middle school classroom.
Review of the Book Series
James Patterson’s series has action and adventure with a science fiction twist.The main character Max, and her flock, all have wings. These hairy wolf-like humans called Erasers are constantly chasing them.The Erasers work for an evil scientific group at the School.
This group swoops through the air trying to avoid the Erasers. They all are experiments, who had Avian DNA implanted in them before they were born. However, they are just like any youth and are searching for their identities. What makes it fun, is the characters have wings, but also typical teenage issues.
The main character, Max, is a fourteen-year-old butt-kicking girl who happens to be the stand-in mother for the group. She comforts and soothes the younger ones, and tries to keep the older ones in line. On top of saving the world, she has a voice in her head that tells her what they should do, and a computer chip in her arm.
The rest of her flock consist of a mind reading cutie called Angel, age 6; an explosives expert and Angel’s older brother called Gassman (for reasons that you can guess), age 7; a motor-mouth young girl called Nudge, age 11; and a helpful older boy called Iggy, who is blind, age 13.
Last, there is Fang, also age 13, who helps Max keep the flock together and could possibly be her boyfriend. Fang keeps a blog at www.maximumride.com, which your students can access online and read.
Another character, Jeb, is a scientist who seems at first to help them by getting them out of their dog cages at the School and taking them to a remote house to teach them survival skills.
However, as the series progresses, the flock members learn that they can only trust themselves.
On a personal note, the first book in the series was lent to me by a student. I could not put it down once I started reading. Many of my students have read it — low to high level readers. James Patterson also has other series out, which you can find out about at maximumride.com. Try them out in your classroom, and let me know what you think in the comments below.