Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Am Number 4

"They caught Number One in Malaysia.
 Number Two in England.
 And Number Three in Kenya.
 They killed them all.
 I am Number Four. I am next."

I Am Number Four is a Young Adult science fiction novel written under the psuedonym Pittacus Lore. Number 4, currently known as John Smith, just moved to Paradise, Ohio to attend school. This is not a new situation for John, he and his "father" Henri move often because they are on the run. They are not on the run from the government or some strange cult, but from a race of aliens from the planet Magadore who destroyed John and Henri's home planet of Lorien for resources. Now they have followed the remaining nine children of Lorien to Earth. John and the other 8 children were part of the warrior class on Lorien, known as the Garde. Before leaving Lorien, the remaining elders of the planet placed a charm on the children so that they can only be killed in numeric order. 1, 2, and 3 are now dead and the Mogadorians are closing in on John.

I Am Number Four is a great book for reluctant readers. It is easy to become involved with the plot and it is also action packed. Any student who feels a little like an outsider will easily connnect with John and his friend Sam. John has never really fit in, partly because he moves so much and because he is an alien and Sam is the stereotypical X-Files "The Truth Is Out There" alien conspiracy buff. The themes that run through the novel are also fitting for our times; environmentalism and responsible use of power are prevalent throughout the book. The 2011 teen action film based on the novel will also help readers to make connections.

I should note that this is the first book in a continuing series. The second book is The Power of Six. I enjoyed reading I Am Number Four  so much that I did read the second novel in the series. Many of the same themes continue through this novel as well. The third book The Rise of Nine  will be released this August. Hopefully, young adults will enjoy this series as much as I have and continue with the entire series.


amykate208 said...

I saw that this was a movie and after looking into it further I saw this book. After reading the synopsis I definitely want to read it, because we know the books are always better than the movies!

BookPaige12 said...

Very interesting review. I was interested in the movie and should have known there was a book first! However, I was a little turned off by the fact that there are aliens involved. Outside of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe, I'm not normally a fan of books with aliens. As I read your review further, however, it recaptured my attention due to the adventure aspect. I think it sounds like an interesting read for YA and adults alike. I wish they would publicize when popular movies were books first so readers can know to hunt them down!

cstephens said...

Just to respond to both of you, I have seen the movie, and it was not bad. It certainly would not win any awards, but it did entertain me for close to two hours. The aliens in the book and the movie are not your typical aliens. They are very human like (other than their supernatural powers).