What is your favorite book? What kinds of books do you like?
My favorite book is Ender’s Game. It’s science fiction but it’s not post-apocalyptic exactly. It’s like pre-apocalyptic. Well, pre-apocalyptic is not really a genre. If you think about it… it’s like what happens before the sun explodes. Everyone thinks the sun is going to explode and it’ll wipe out the earth…what happens right before? That’s pre-apocalyptic. Tension!
What would be a post-apocalyptic book?
Oh. Maze Runner. So, it’s all these teenagers…in the first one they are put in a maze for experiments… they are like monitored in a maze with these reavers–these slug monsters–and they get out eventually. [It’s post-apocalyptic] because when they get out they see that the world is actually a burnt husk because of solar fires. There is a disease and it’s consuming the people, except most of the kids are immune to the virus.
Oh, so that’s why it’s post-apocalyptic. And pre-apocalyptic?
The calm before the storm. What are they trying to do to stop this post-apocalyptic world? It’s not really calm, because everyone’s frantic. So it’s this kid and he shows this great intelligence in all these different statistics. And they want to put him in battle school.
Who are they?
The government. IF – international forces, they are the funders of earth. To fight the buggers. They’re aliens. And then they move him to command school. It’s another school, it’s the second school, like high school. He’s very smart so he skips a lot of things and he gets in fights. It’s a high school story except [that] it’s very different because it’s science fiction. They’re in a floating command school where the battles mean everything. It’s the game … all the kids are divided up into armies, and battles mean everything.
They’re not real battles? Just school?
They’re like lasers…and when you shoot someone with a laser it freezes up their suit. It’s all in zero gravity. It’s like school…it’s how they teach them to be better commanders…of starships and such. Because they want to fight the buggers. There were two invasions before the books take place and both times the human race almost got obliterated.
So why is it such a good book?
It’s mostly only me that I like it. It’s not critically acclaimed. It is critically acclaimed. But… Everyone I know who’s read it likes it…but it’s not the rage.
It’s just great writing. He knows how to make it seem real. Some parts are really slow but there’s always A LOT OF ACTION. It’s great writing. It’s the best writing I’ve ever seen.
So can you compare it to a book that is popular and show how it compares?
Harry Potter is a rage. It’s different and better than Harry Potter.
Harry Potter is childish now that I look back. It’s not realistic in a way to have these teenagers acting. It’s not how they would act. Of course, if you did write how they would act kids wouldn’t read it. But this [Ender’s Game] is more realistic. It’s also [got kids acting unrealistically]. He kills this bully accidentally when he’s six. That was implausible…it’s kind of shifty.
But Ender’s Game is implausible in a different way? It’s implausible in a way that you like but Harry Potter is implausible in a way that you don’t like?
Well, Harry Potter is just wrong information, Maybe adults think real tweens act that way…but that’s not true. Like, Harry Potter is never, ever afraid. At the end of the book Ender’s Game, Ender goes insane and that makes sense. And Harry Potter — he never gets afraid. He’s always like a hero. Even when he’s twelve, he’s not afraid. And he’s really curious and really adventurous. No twelve year old going into Hogwarts would ever be like that.
I want to ask you one last question. Do you think in 6th grade there is a real difference between girls’ books and boys’ books?
No. Except for books like Twilight. Because girls are just like boys…[girl in my class]she has hair that’s shorter than mine. Her parting gift for the summer was a deep scratch on my arm and her friend punches like a boy. Their reading tastes are like boys. Just any book…action, fantasy, or sci fi. Historical fiction. Except steampunk [which is not really historical].
Name one book you would like to read. If you could order someone to write it.
A sci-fi post-apocalyptic or during-apocalyptic about teens making their way through it. Or aliens. Aliens watching from above. It’s the aliens’ book about survival.. all these aliens are always attacking humans. What if the humans had surperior technology and they were to attack aliens? And the aliens were like. “Oh,no!”
[At this point Cyrus and Avery excitedly work out this scenario. Cyrus’s mom says: That’s Avatar, isn’t it?]
Yeah…but that’s not a book. I like military strategy. History. But I don’t see many books about it. The top one would be Band of Brother’s, but it’s not real strategy. It’s just memoir.