Day 20: Candle & Gone (Book for older teens)

With all the excitement at school – the parties, the plays,seeing Father Christmas, the decorations  and the dark nights, my boys are really getting tired now. So a nice simple craft was in order. This candle could not have been easier. We simply painted the toilet roll holder white, attached a short piece of silver pipe cleaner, and a yellow piece of crepe paper (shaped into fire). I have seen other candles with ‘wax’ melting around the top of the roll too – but I wanted to keep it as basic as possible.


In contrast, today’s book as part of the Christmas TRH Book Advent is aimed at older teens. I bought Gone by Michael Grant for my oldest son last Christmas (days before he turned 16). Just like my other son he is not a big reader, like I was, so it was nice that he just read this book, and liked it so much that he wanted the other books in the series: Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear (which I aim to get for this Christmas).

I think he liked the fact that it is a grown up book. When I asked him for his feedback, in order to write this review, the first thing he said was that it wasn’t suitable for his 10 year old brother (it has bad language in it). I mean it even comes with a warning that it contains scenes of cruelty and some violence.

Gone Michael Grant

In a small town in southern California everyone over the age of fifteen has disappeared. Those remaining discover that they are trapped within an impenetrable barrier. They cannot get through it , plus they cannot see through it that well. No-one knows what is going on, even though they try to find the answers. The children form gangs and the ones from the private school are the first to discover that  they have powers, which they use to try to make the others do as they say.

The main character in the story is Sam, and is the leader of the “good” group – as he is the oldest. He is considered a hero as he saves children from a bus crash and a fire. He discovers that Caine, the leader of the bad group (who is trying to get the children to do things they should not) is actually his twin brother.

When children reach their fifteenth birth they disappear in a flash of light, however Sam and Caine avoid disappearing when they turn fifteen. A figure appears that looks like their mother trying to entice them into the light. Caine tries to convince Sam to go over to the mother-like figure, but it is not really their mother.

There’s also sub stories going on  such as the one about Astrid, who has a little brother Pete whom is Autistic. This is shown by things such as the fact that Pete does not talk, but it is nice to know that he is included as part of the group. It turns out that he could be the most powerful of the children, and may be the reason the barrier appeared.

My son is almost seventeen years old with Aspergers Syndrome. He really enjoyed this book but really struggles with expressing himself. I think this book has a lot to offer and is very magical, mysterious and not just straight forward. I think he did well trying to account this all to me but it is clear that there is so much more to do this book.

The actual end of the book has the beginning of the next book in the series (Hunger).

ISBN: 978-1-4052-4235-6


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9 thoughts on “Day 20: Candle & Gone (Book for older teens)”

  1. This sounds like a really great book. I really struggled when I was a teenager because all the teen books were about dating and make up and the adult books were all about adults. There was only one small shelf of books for teens at my library and I read them really quickly. They seem much better catered for now and there is something for all interests. It’s just finding something which captures their interest.

  2. Sounds like a fascinating book. I admit that I am a total wuss, and Tom is only 4 so we’ve got a way to go before he reaches that kind of reading, but this book sounds like it might be fairly timeless, so maybe ten years down the line he’ll be up for it.

    The candle though, that’s something we can get to work on tomorrow!


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