Today on the blog, we have a little something different for you. My (Alisa) son read this over the summer as his school project. His report is actual diary entries! I loved this idea so much, and with his permission we are sharing it here today for all of you. I hope you enjoy as much as I did. Now I need to figure out time in my schedule to read this too.
We would love your feedback as well, so comment away.
Hardcover, First Edition, 384 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Delacorte Press
About the Book
If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.
Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.
Everything is going to change.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
Remember. Survive. Run.
Today has been a very long and very strange day. First I woke up in this box thing being lifted up. It was complete blackness in this box. Suddenly it stopped; I guess I made it to the top. Then the doors opened. I was blinded by the outside light. There were about twenty or so boys looking in the box where I was. All crowded around the edges. A Few of them came in the box and helped me up on the land. As I looked around, all these boys just staring at me, studying me, all I could focus on was this huge stone wall that seemed to surround the place. It was covered in ivy. “Where am I?” I asked with fear in my voice.
“Nowhere good.” A dark skinned boy answered. (page 6) Fear and panic rushed through my body. I can’t remember anything, my voice sounds different to me, at the moment I have no idea what my name is, where I am, who these people are. Every second that passes I become more scared. These people keep calling me greenie. I don’t know why because I’m sure that’s not my name, but I also can’t tell them my name at this moment. The dark skinned boy introduced himself, his name is Alby and he is the leader. He told me he would give me a tour of the “glade” tomorrow. It’s getting lat now and everyone said the runners should be getting home soon.
Newt, I’m guessing he is second in command was off to find Chuck. I don’t know who this Chuck is, but he is in charge of me for the night and in charge of my sleeping arrangements.
Chuck came to where Alby and I were, he couldn’t be older than 12. Why would they put him in charge of me?
As night came, my nerves settled and my memory started to come back to me.
I was awakened early, with someone shaking my body. As I opened my eyes I saw a face staring down at mine. In panic I tried to scream but there was a hand over my mouth.
“Shh, Greenie. Don’t wanna be wakin’ Chuckie now, do we?” (page 36)
It was Newt, the one who seemed to be second in command. He told me he had something to show me before everyone else woke up. I was very curious, but weary as I had only been here a short time and had no reasons to really trust anyone yet. I followed the boy, it was still a bit dark, for the sun hadn’t yet rose. We reached a part of the wall, thickly covered in ivy. My fear grew as Newt walked closer and began moving the ivy to the side. Behind the vines was a small dirty window. I glanced into the window for a few minutes, nothing was there, I started thinking it was a joke he was playing on me because I’m the newbie. It looked into the maze. I realized that’s what the opening in the wall was, the entrance to the maze. The creator size of a cow climbed up the wall and leaped toward the window. I jumped back in fear. It had long spikes and something that looked like a blade coming off of it.
“What is that thing?” I asked in fear.
“Grievers, we call ‘em.” Newt answered (page 39) He said they only come out at night, and I should be thankful for these walls. For the next few hours all I could think about was the Grievers and the maze. The doors to the maze opened and I saw the runners go out into the maze. Shortly thereafter Alby came to me and asked if I had a nice view out the window this
morning. Then he said it was time for my tour. Chuck asked if he could come but Alby said he had a job to do, and then Chuck left after telling me to have fun. I started to ask a question but Alby told me no questions till the end. He said he would tell me what he wanted to tell me. The tour started at the box. He said once a month they get a newbie, once a week they will get supplies. He said they don’t get much from the box; they can use what they have in the glade. They don’t know a lot about the box. The glade had four sections: Gardens, Blood House, Homestead, and Deadheads. The northeast corner was the Gardens. Southeast was where the animals were, Blood House. He pointed at the living area, Homestead. And in the southwest, where the forest is, that’s the Deadheads.
As the tour went on Alby showed and explained things to me. He explained how some of the stuff works. How the group helps each other, how everyone is needed and everyone needs each other. Alby had told me that nobody has been here longer than him; he had been here two years. Anyone who had been her long was dead. He had tried for two years, yet he still hadn’t found a way out. He explained that every night the walls within the maze move and change. That mapping out the maze is nowhere near easy. I wanted to go in; I wanted to see for myself. Thoughts and questions filled my head. Suddenly a loud siren went off; Alby looked around and took off. I ran behind him asking what’s wrong, what’s going on. But he didn’t answer, he didn’t slow down. We reached the box; Alby asked “Newt, what’s going on!” (page 47)
Newt walked over towards me patted my back and said “Mean a bloody Newbie’s comin’ up in the box.” This was weird; when the box arrived Newt opened the doors. It was a girl, she appeared dead. She had a note that said “She’s the last one. Ever.” (page 57)
She knew my name and she remembered me. But I had no idea who she was or how she would know me. Then I was being blamed for it. Silence filled the glade. Not only was it a day after I arrived, it was a girl, plus she knew me and I was the newest one. I could feel the looks I was getting from the rest of the Gladers. They took her to be looked at by Med-jack, to make sure she wasn’t truly dead.
Finally, I was away from the group, just me and Chuck. The questions from the tour this morning were coming back to me. I asked a few but without surprise; Chuck didn’t answer any of them.
I was confused about the maps, or how we were getting the electricity. I wanted to be a runner, but I couldn’t just run into the maze by myself. Everyone said that is a death wish!
A lot has happened since I last wrote. I’ve learned a little more, I tried a few of the jobs around the glade. I still wanted to be a runner, I just feel like I’m set for that job. I feel like I belong there. I was in the forest and I heard some noise, it sounded like someone breaking branches. “Who’s there?” I yelled (page 68) I heard my voice sort of echo there the forest and of the canopy. There wasn’t an answer, and the noise had stopped. I headed toward where I had heard the sounds. I asked again, with no reply. I started to think it was just an animal. So I turned and went to the graveyard. I looked at a few graves and I wondered on how these people had died, one of the graves looked fairly new. It said “Let this half-shank be a warning to all: You can’t escape there, the box Hole.”
Then I heard branches snapping, like something or someone was running toward me. “Who’s out there?” I called out. (page 70) No answer but the noise got louder and sounded to be coming faster. A boy burst through the trees, leaping on top of me. Slamming me into the ground. I fought to get up and I tried running away, I screamed for help. Near the exit off the forest I heard Alby’s voice, screaming Ben’s name. Alby had a bow and arrow, was telling Ben to relax and leave me alone or he was going to shoot. Ben was saying I should be killed; I was going to kill us all. Ben had a knife and was still inching close to me, Alby counted to three. On three Ben had leaped toward me, and Alby released the arrow. He had been stung by a Griever in the maze. But it was the middle of the day. Grievers only come out at night. Then the next day Alby went into the maze with Minho (the leader of the runners) and they weren’t back yet and the wall began to close. Then they came around the corner, but they wouldn’t make it in time. I guess out of instincts, I ran into the maze just before the doors closed. It looked as if Alby had been stung too, “Greenie,” said Minho, “if you think that was brave comin’ out here, listen up, you’re the shuckest shuck-face shuck there ever was. You’re as good as dead, just like us.” (page 113) He said I was breaking the number one rule; killing myself. That night in the maze was the longest scariest night of my life. We had to try and hide Alby’s body so the Grievers wouldn’t take him away while trying to survive ourselves. I remember being chased by a Griever and hearing its spikes crash into the stone walls as it got closer to me, I remember running and trying to remember the way I came so hopefully I could get out in the morning. At one point I was running and out of nowhere I was grabbed as I passed a turn, it was Minho. We ran and the farther we got, it seemed like the more Grievers chased us. Minho told me how to get rid of them; we were running straight for a cliff. He told me we had to jump to the sides at the same time. “We need to be in sync!” Minho yelled. (page 137) I hated every millisecond that we stood there, the Grievers baring towards us. “Now!” screamed Minho (page 137) We dove in opposite directions right as the Grievers’ arms reached forward to get us. When we got back to the Glade, I slept. There was a meeting about me running into the maze and breaking the rules in the morning. Gally said in his rant about me “I think he’s a spy form the ones who sent us here.” “We cant’ trust this shank” he continued. (page 156) Minho finally spoke, “I was out there, I saw what this guy did-he stayed strong while I turned into a panty-wearin’ chicken. No blabbin’ on and on like Gally. I want to say my recommendation and be done with it.” Minho said
“Good that,” Newt said. “Tell us, then”
Minho looked at me and said “I nominate this shank to replace me as Keeper of the Runners.” (page 158)
Of course Gally disagreed, all he wanted was me punished. Newt also disagreed, but he did agree on me becoming a Runner.
Today was a successful day, with some good things, but also some bad. We made it out of the maze! The way out was very interesting and dangerous. We had to go through the Griever Hole. Their way in was our way out. But that being said, it was by no means easy. The maps actually had word that there in the maze. While Minho and I were running and mapping, Newt and Teresa were unscrambling words and finding the letters. What they thought the words were at first were, “FLOAT, CATCH, BLEED, DEATH, STIFF, PUSH” (page 290)I thought the code would show its purpose easily.
The Glade was attacked by Grievers; I could hear the sounds of explosions, buildings being hit and crashing to the ground. One of the Grievers had take Dave, I never spoke to him but I still wasn’t just let them take him and let him die. I ran after the Griever and Dave, I jumped to grab a hold of him. Then suddenly I realized I was surrounded by a pack of Grievers. Finally the Griever let go of Dave and they went back to the maze. Alby said after he had been stung he remembered stuff from before the Glade. While I was getting Dave back from the Grievers I wanted them to sting me, I wanted to remember. As I went through the “changing” and started to get consciousness back I heard a voice, it sounded as if it was coming through a long tunnel. Then I hear, “Thomas, its Chuck. Are you okay? Please don’t die, dude.” (page 298) With a groan I forced my eyes open, to see Chuck’s face right there. “He’s awake!” Chuck yelled. “Thomas is awake!” (page 298)
An hour later I had to sit in front of all the Keepers like I did after I had run into the maze. I told them what I remembered. That Teresa and I used to work for the people who put us here. We were sent here and we had to survive here, all for a test. Only the best of us would survive and make it out. I then told them how we needed to get out of the maze. Everyone was stunned when I had said we needed to go over the Cliff and into the Griever Hole.
Not all of us would go, some stayed back in the Glade, and they thought they were safer there. Gally insisted that we were all breaking the rules and we need to stay. It’s where we belong. The group of us went into the maze, with a plan. The plan was that everyone was to stay together and fight off the Grievers, because we knew there would be Grievers just didn’t know how many. When we had reached the cliff and a few Grievers came up over the edge, Alby took his spear and charged right at the first Griever. He sacrificed himself so we could get out. The rest of the group fought off the Grievers. Teresa, Chuck and I ran through a tiny opening and jumped. Teresa entered the code and I stood there to make sure we were safe. Teresa had entered the code, but it wasn’t working she said it wouldn’t let he enter the last word. “push.”
While I was trying to help, a Griever had come after us and honestly we would’ve died without Chuck he got my attention to kill that Griever. He was the one to tell us that instead of the word “push” we should actually push. There was a button we hadn’t noticed. As soon as the code was in, the Grievers shut down and we made it out. Then after this long hallway we made it to a room, it was the Creators control room. As we studied the place, Gally had come through the maze after me. He found us in that room, “Gally,” Newt said. “What’s going on?” (page 354) Gally pulled out a knife and had thrown it towards me, but it never hit me. I didn’t notice that Chuck had jumped in front of me. He just saved me again. Then Minho killed Gally. Some people came in and took us out to a bus and we drove away. I hated leaving Chuck; I hadn’t let it set in that he was dead.
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