Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 479 Pages
Publisher: Candlewick, September 9, 2008
Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. In 30 days he will be a man and then everything will change for him. Todd lives in a town where there are only men and all of those men have been infected with the Noise Germ. A germ that causes men to know everyone's thoughts. They can even read the minds of animals. While out looking for apples for his foster father (his own ma and pa have succumbed to an illness), Todd finds silence. He also finds the local crazy preacher man, Aaron.
Cillian and Ben (Todd's foster parents) know that it is time for Todd to leave town and warn everyone. Unfortunately, they cannot communicate to him what he needs to warn them about and he can't read. So with a backpack, a book and his trusted dog, Manchee. Todd flees Prentisstown. But first he goes back to the silence. See Todd has been told that all the woman have died due to disease and there are no women in New World. However, the silence he feels is a young girl who has crashed on the planet. Todd realizes that everything he has been told in Prentisstown is not exactly the truth and he must find the truth while outrunning the Mayor's son, the mayor and crazy Aaron.
I struggled with this book. I'd talked to people who absolutely loved it and while I liked it, I hated the device that Ness uses to keep us plodding along with Todd and Viola. Not giving us any information as to why they are running away. Why Prentisstown men are so vilified. The first half of the book is Viola and Todd running away from a few men. But when they get to the nearest settlement, they're told that an army is after them. Running all over some weird world with two moons, thirteen months and talking dogs.
Now I loved Manchee. I adored this dog. He was the comic relief that this book needed. That is all I'm going to say on this subject. The ending is abrupt so of course it makes you want, no, need to read the next book to find out what happens next. I hope we get more answers because I feel just as confused as ever.
I do recommend this book. Ness' writing is interesting. But can get a bit confusing when Todd is listening to the Noise.