Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grade 6n/a5.279077
As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor's wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge -- and quarantine colony -- for the ill. The Scourge's victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn't know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She's been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on.

But will she and Weevil survive long enough to do so?

The Scourge is an explosively thrilling tale of adventure and intrigue, courage and heart from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published on August 30, 2016 by Scholastic Press
ISBN-10: 0545682452
ISBN-13: 9780545682459
14 Book Reviews
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  • RosettaMonday, April 30, 2018 at 9:03 pm
    I really liked this book I am half way done but so far so good. A librarian recommended this book and I was like- this is a type of book for older people between 15/16 but I asked everyone if I should read 'The scourge' or the book 'Post it', and everyone said 'The scourge'.
    • memoiloveit
      memoiloveitTuesday, February 21, 2017 at 1:05 pm
      "The Scourge" by Jennifer A. Nielsen is about a girl named Ani Mells who tests positive for a lethal plague called the Scourge. Ani's best friend Weevil and her are quarantined at a former prison with other victims who have to live the rest of their short and painful life there. Ani and Weevil discover that the Scourge isn't what they thought it was since none of the victims are actually sick, but being poisoned by authorities so they can test positive for the Scourge. They are quarantined and forced to work on the island so they can prepare for what happens to the people who supposedly died of the Scourge. "The Scourge" helps readers learn how to be courageous through Ani trying to expose the mayor's evil plan to people who are against her and her type of people.
      • domosaur
        domosaurFriday, January 6, 2017 at 7:24 pm55 starsFeatured
        The Scrouge is a one of a kind book. The Scourge, written by Jennifer A. Nielsen is one of the best books I have read. I also read her other series, The False Prince, which was a total page-turner. The Scourge is about Ani Mells, who is a lives in Keldan, which has two main types of people. One type lives the rich life, while the other lives a poor, filthy life. Ani Mells lives in the poor life and is the main character of this book. One day, Ani is taken away from her home to be tested for the Scourge, a disease that will end your life. Ani and her best friend Weevil are found positive for the Scourge and they are both sent to Attic Island, where they are supposed to live out their last days. Ani senses that there is something fishy going on, and she intends to find out. Are they really sent there to live until their time has come, or is there something else? What is the governor really trying to do? Will Ani save herself and everyone from dying of the Scourge? As Ani and Weevil make alliances and do everything to find out what the plan is, she finds herself in trouble over and over again. How will she free the people living at Attic Island? If you want to find out, you'll just have to read The Scourge, filled with twists and turns. I loved this book!
        • maddyrocks13
          maddyrocks13Friday, September 23, 2016 at 9:13 pm44 stars
          The Scourge is a refreshing novel, with a unique plot and plenty of world-building. I enjoyed this book, personally, because I think stories about epidemics are very fascinating! The Scourge is a great adventure story, with a great amount of sleuthing and discovery. Something I really liked about this story was the length of the story, close to 400 pages. I found it to be the perfect length, with plenty of time to establish plot and setting but without dragging on. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the Lunar Chronicles, The Hunger Games, or enjoys dystopian fiction.
          • ellsworth2424
            ellsworth2424Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 6:53 pm44 starsFeatured
            This book is about a deadly disease, called the Scourge, and a Colony, where people infected with the disease are taken to live. The main character, Ani Mells, is sent to live at the Colony, and soon her best friend, Weevil, arrives too. Once there, the two learn that the Colony may not be what it's supposed to be. Together, Ani and Weevil start to question the Scourge and those who run the Colony. It's an adventure-packed, thrilling story, with lots of twist and turns, which will keep you guessing and surprised. It covers topics like friendship, loyalty, and just doing what's right in life. This isn't my typical type of book, and it's a little longer than I usually read (about 350 pages), but I really liked The Scourge and would recommend it to other readers, both boys and girls.
            • peakreader
              peakreaderSunday, August 21, 2016 at 5:19 pmFeatured
              The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen is a phenomenal book! I started the first page and I could not put it down. The story is about a girl named Ani who is captured by the governor’s wardens. These wardens bring her to be tested for the Scourge. Does she test positive or does she test negative? The adventures unfold and keep you guessing. You have to read the story to find out more. My favorite character was Weevil who is Ani’s best friend. I really like the ending, it was a fun twist. WARNING 3rd graders and up should read this book because it might give younger children nightmares. Everyone else should read this book because it is so good. This book also has a lot of cliff hangers which keep you on your feet the whole time. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.
              • sydstar
                sydstarMonday, August 15, 2016 at 8:24 am
                This book is about Ani Mells. She is captured and tested for the plague. She tested positive. She is forced to go to attic island and she and her friend Weevil escape. The cover of the book makes it look very interesting. The title is made with trees which is kind of cool because trees are a symbol of life, yet a scourge can cause death. This book reminds me of the lunar chronicles. If you loved this book you should read that series. Because I own chickens, this is my favorite quote: "That is truly the most horrible sound I've ever heard, sort of like a chicken's dying squawk. Only that ends. Yours goes on and on and then on and on some more, like you don't even need air while creating that blasphemy of voice." I own 14 chickens and I thought this image was funny.
                • jeffdaboss
                  jeffdabossSunday, August 14, 2016 at 6:21 pm
                  Ani Mells is considered a River Person. A River Person is considered lesser than the townsfolk. So when the wardens come into the forest looking for some River People to test the deadly disease called The Scourge, they feel obliged to take Ani and her friend, Weevil. Once Ani and Weevil are held captive in jail, they escape using Weevil's lock-picking abilities. But when Ani gets distracted by a girl requesting help running away on a boat, she gets captured by Warden Brogg with the girl named Della. When the two are forced into the spindly cell, Ani starts to get a real feel for Della's attitude. She is self-centered, obnoxious, petty, and all-around mean. A test for the Scourge proves Della positive and Ani negative. But once Governor Felling steps into the picture, she forces Ani to take the old test and it proves Ani positive. While on the way to Attic Island, where Scourge-positive civilians of Keldan take refuge, Weevil suddenly appears out of nowhere, declaring he sick with The Scourge and needs to go to Attic Island. He meets up with Ani, and the two of them gets in trouble with the wardens by messing with Della. They end up punishing Ani and suspend her in a cage for a day. A woman named Marjorie convinces them not to live in the prison house, but in a cave near the shore. They stay there and find Della's boyfriend, whom she was running away for, named Jonah. While living in Attic Island, Ani's ventures answer some questions, but even more questions emerge. She ends up realizing that the small amount of medicine given to everyone contains poison called spindlewill. She convinces all of Attic Island to destroy their flasks of medicine and that the wardens are trying to break everyone emotionally. Eventually, Governor Felling tries to kill Ani with poisonous snakes, but Ani escapes. Ani learns that Governor Felling is the one selling Dulan Keldanian slaves in return for the promise of no invasion. She also learns that The Scourge is really poison that mimics the symptoms of the 200 year old Scourge disease, tricking everyone to believe The Scourge was revamped. Ani and a close group of friends, old and young, end up getting Governor Felling and her lead scientist to admit to her evil scheme. In the end, The Scourge is ended. I was totally drawn in to this novel, and I couldn't put this book down. The plot was amazing, and I would rate this book 5 stars.
                  • bibliophile
                    bibliophileSaturday, August 13, 2016 at 7:33 pmFeatured
                    The definition of scourge: [skurj] “a cause of affliction or calamity.” All Ani Mells wanted was a perfectly, ripe vinefruit to eat- which requires climbing skill…. And so she had set off to climb the vines, but instead she had overheard a conversation between two wardens… Let me start off with some background history… There are the River People also known as “grubs”and the opulent citizens or townsfolk also known as “pinchworms.” They have a mutual dispute… because Governor Felling kept on pushing the River People farther away where food is not as abundant compared to Marisbane- also the main reason why is because “history shows that the River People was the pivotal point of contracting the Scourge” (which could leadt o the deterioration of many villages). However, the Governor released new information that the Scourge is back… and in order to protect those who did not have the Scourge, the victims would be tested for this disease, and if they tested positive, then they would be sent to the Colony until they lived their short life. The Colony is a former prison cell where they quarantine all citizens who contracted the Scourge. So going back to the summary… Ani is starving and she found her ambrosia, the vinefruit… and after she climbed up the vine, she did obtain her goal (to eat food), however she gets caught by the Warden by a bird- yes, a mother bird that’s surprisingly abysmal. On the way, the Wardens are stopped by Weevil, Ani’s best friend (who is a decent pickpocketer) and encourages the Wardens to bring him along suggesting that he’s contracted the Scourge. Ani is outrageously mad that Weevil is stuck in this mess, but Weevil is happy to barge in because at least he can try to save his best friend. However when they get stuck in a prison cell, Weevil uses his adroit skills to unlock them… Which leads them to their ultimate prison escape… by then Weevil and Ani had split while Ani stopped to think about whether to help a girl that looked a couple of years older than her… However her wishful thinking got her nowhere because the Wardens had captured both, Ani and Della. Inside the cell they are being placed in, there’s a huge quarrel between them… until the testing day… On that day, both girls were tested positive for the Scourge where they had to drink a liquid… which means they were both shipped to the Colony. On their way there… they get stopped by Weevil again which meant he was able to go to the Colony with them… So as they reached the Colony, everybody was given medicine which could help alleviate the pain… However Della’s medicine was lost after Ani pushed her and Della stole Ani’s medicine…. It looks like they’re troublesome girls- but they do have hearts like gold and they are very compassionate, potent, and brave- especially Ani. The only way to get inside the infirmary (which is the place where people go inside, but never comes back) is if one is broken, and Ani believes she’ll never be broken… However on her first day Ani gets in trouble for pushing off Della… Where the Wardens got to “break their friendship” which led them to escape their slashings… (I’m just glad that they are the truest of friends… because one should know that if two people are truly best friends… a dispute will only make them stronger together, not annihilate their friendship). So a couple of days later, they made “cave friends” where they found Della’s lover...and before that… Ani sneaks inside the Warden’s room to explore why they never contracted the Scourge even though they were surrounded by them… but they found no medicine… which was very bizarre… which led to another important discovery… (gasp)... I profusely apologize for stopping this summary because SPOILER ALERT…. And I covered the necessities… I know the beginning might start a little slow- but don’t dismiss it right away, because trust me… it get’s amazing… (Also one huge tip, don’t let the governor fool you!) This story shows courage and pure perseverance… This story also entails a strong friendship, which I completely adored about this book… I highly recommend… A sweet book encompassing determination and strong bonds with a dystopian scene… Please read this amazing book.... Because “We are the Scourge.”
                    • maddyp18
                      maddyp18Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 10:23 am55 starsFeatured
                      I loved this book so much! The Scourge is a deadly disease, and it is not curable. Ani Mells is shocked when she is taken by the governor, and forced to test for the deadly disease. She doesn't believe it when she is tested positive for the illness, and is forced to go to Attic island, an old prison turned into a shelter for the sick. Ani is also forced to work there, and she is expected to die quickly, (there is no cure for the scourge). But, Ani uncovers some secrets, with the help of her friends Weevil and Della. These secrets might lead to the saving of all of Keldan. Read this book to find out what happens to Ani and her friends! This is an amazing book! This book's message is to stand up for what you believe in, and this story really shows this message in Ani and Weevil. This book is an exciting, adventurous story, and an enjoyable fantasy book! I'm sure that readers of all ages will love this book as much as I did! I hope you enjoy this book!
                      • sherlockcutepup
                        sherlockcutepupThursday, August 25, 2016 at 4:48 pm55 stars
                        is this a mystery book?
                        • bibliophile
                          bibliophileThursday, September 1, 2016 at 5:58 pm
                          Yes... But it's more of a adventure rather than a mystery... They uncover some secrets so it's a mix. If you like reading dystopian type adventures (also uncovering secrets that can change the way they live)... This book is for you!