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
16 Book Reviews
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  • 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!
      • snicker9
        snicker9Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 5:44 pmFeatured
        The main character in "The Scourge" is Ani Mells. In Ani's world her country is split into two parts, the river people and the city people, each detesting the other. After 300 years, the scourge, a deadly disease has made a return. The governor puts the blame on the river people. Anybody who takes the test and is proclaimed to have the disease is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned quarantine colony. The people are told that they will live their short and painful lives out there under caring supervisors. However when Ani is unexpectedly diagnosed positive, she and her best friend Weevil are sent to the island and discover things are not all that they seem. She must make unlikely allies and find out what is really happening, and the truth about her country and the scourge. Will Ani save her people from the deadly disease that plagues their country? This book is one of my new favorites. I was completely drawn in, and I couldn't wait to turn the next page. The plot kept me guessing, and I couldn't put it down. I also liked that all the loose ends were tied at the ending. So many dystopian fantasy books these days are in series. It was refreshing to read one amazing book, instead of the story expanding over several. That being said I would love to read a spin-off or a prequel. I recommend this book to fantasy lovers and dystopian lovers! I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.
        • penguin313
          penguin313Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 12:56 pm55 stars
          This book was extremely good. In a dystopian fantasy world, a country is split between the city folk, and the river people. Recently a disease appeared for the first time in 300 years, and the governor blames the river people. Ani and Weevil, children living in the River Village, get captured by wardens and sent to the infected Colony, a former prison where wardens boss around the infected in the remainders of their lives. But Ani discovers that something seems off and investigates. Her friend Weevil joins her even though he isn't sick, which is a great show of a true friendship. On the island, the infected work labor and sleep in the former prison, while the most sick are moved to the infirmary, where they are never seen again. I was hooked by this book and didn't put it down till I finished. With a whole new world filled with social division, neighboring countries nearing war, and the disease, this book was really vivid and provides an interesting story.