A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The 100: Book 1 closely follows four juvenile delinquents and their journey to recolonize Earth after only ever living in space. It's a futuristic dystopian novel that includes some violence. All crimes committed are punishable by death through lethal injection, and it's mentioned that countless people in the colony have already been executed. One character is shot with a gun, and another with a bow and arrow -- their fates are left unknown to the reader. A son finds his mother on the kitchen floor submerged in her own blood after she attempts to commit suicide. Teens engage in consensual sexual relationships, and there's passionate kissing. One of the main characters (a teen girl) becomes pregnant, which is a capital crime due to the strict population-control laws. There's an attempted rape. Drug and alcohol abuse are discussed, and one character battles an addiction to prescription pills. There's also a hefty amount of swearing ("bulls--t," "bitch," "s--t," "bastard," and "a--hole").
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What's the story?
THE 100: BOOK 1 is a dystopian sci-fi novel and the inspiration for the CW series of the same name. The story takes place 300 years after a nuclear war polluted all of Earth's sources, forcing surviving members of the human race to settle in space aboard a giant spacecraft. Due to the limited supply of natural resources such as oxygen, water, and food, the authoritarian government has implemented extreme measures, making all infractions capital crimes. This severe regulation applies only to adults, whereas minors can be retried at the age of 18. Apprehension that the spacecraft has only a few good years left, the Chancellor decides to send 100 juvenile delinquents on a mission to recolonize Earth. On this journey, the reader gets a close look at the four teens, whose lives are intertwined with love, hate, loyalty, and betrayal.
Is it any good?
The 100: Book 1 is a captivating novel about four teens who set out to survive the most impossible of circumstances. Author Kass Morgan effortlessly weaves the four narrators' tales while cascading between the past and present. Flashbacks don’t always work in novels, but here, scenes flow naturally and keep the reader anxious to learn more about each individual’s personal story. Morgan examines issues that could arise if there were a cataclysmic decline in society while subtly shedding light on contemporary real-life political issues. Also, readers must consider the ethical dilemma of whether to punish another human being by depriving him or her of life.
For sci-fi seekers, the only drawback is the hopelessly romantic one-liners topped with extra cheese, such as, “He tasted like joy and joy tasted better on Earth.”
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about dystopian novels. Why do you think books about oppressive futuristic governments are so popular?
Do you notice any similarities between political issues discussed in the novel and issues we face in America today?
How does The 100: Book 1 compare with other dystopian novels you've read? How is it different? How is it similar?
- Author: Kass Morgan
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
- Publication date: September 3, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 17
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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