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Roth, Veronica.
New York : Katherine Tegen Books, 2011
ISBN 0062024027

(4 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

So which faction do you think you belong in? Abnegation who believe service to others is their calling, Candor who can speak only the truth, Erudite who value intellect above every thing else, Amity who believe friendship is paramount, or Dauntless who value fearlessness and courage.  In a distant future, these factions rule the country.  On your 16th birthday, you must chose your faction.  You can stay in the faction you were born into or choose a new one.  Your aptitude test determines your choice.  But what happens if the test results aren't clear?  What happens if you are Divergent?  And your choice may lead to being involved in something that may change your world forever.

Booktalk #2

In the future, society has been reorganized; at 16, teens are evaluated and must choose which of the five factions they will join.  Each faction highlights a particular virtue to address society’s shortcomings:  out of weakness grew the Dauntless, who value bravery; from stupidity grew the Erudite, for those who value knowledge.  From selfishness grew the Abnegation, for those who want to serve others; from dishonestly grew Candor for those who value truth, and from hate grew Amity, where happiness reigns.  If a teen chooses a faction that differs from the one in which they grew up, they must sever all ties with their family.
Beatrice Pryor is turning 16.  She lives and serves with her family in Abnegation – a position that she finds very challenging.  So perhaps it’s no surprise that her evaluation reveals that she can’t be easily sorted into one faction – she is Divergent, which her tester cautions her is a very dangerous label to have, and she must keep this secret.

At her choosing ceremony she selects the Dauntless – a rowdy and reckless group.  Not all initiates will be accepted and Tris (as she calls herself) must shed her selfless upbringing and excel at the intense initiation period, or risk a fate worse than death: exile and becoming factionless.

The violent initiation – plenty of hand to hand combat here and some underhanded practices during which Tris is threatened and beat up – combined with a budding romance with a fellow Dauntless will attract many fans of The Hunger Games.  Tris is a strong young woman who genuinely struggles with finding her place.  She misses her family.  She begins to question the “rightness” of the way her society is organized.  Can people really be categorized?   ( NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Booktalk #3

How would you like to be forced to choose one personality trait and then strictly live by it for the rest of your life?  That's the premise for the dystopian novel, Divergent, by Veronica Roth.   Sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior and her fellow teenagers must choose a faction of society to live and work in.  There are five factions: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).  The factions were formed at a time in the past when the world's civilization fell apart because of different vices such as dishonesty, selfishness, cowardice, ferocity, and ignorance.  Each faction blamed one of these vices and therefore worked to cultivate the opposite virtue in their faction of society.  Of course, each thinks their own faction is right and once again civil war is imminent.

After being tested for her aptitudes, Beatrice discovers that she does not fall into any one trait and is classified as "Divergent" which is considered very dangerous to society!  She must keep this hidden or be ex-communicated to the streets of post-apocalyptic Chicago where life is very hard and short.  Beatrice surprises her parents who belong to the Abnegation faction by joining the Dauntless and surviving their brutal initiation.  She changes her name to Tris which fits her newly assumed lifestyle and then tries to come to terms with the political and personal issues that surround her.

Divergent is about choosing a way of life and standing up for your values whether they are like everyone else's or not.Tris learns that life is not always as it seems and that friends must be chosen carefully and family must be valued.  She faces the same problems as a typical teenager of today's world, but they are compounded to the extreme in this fast-moving, action-packed novel!  If you liked Hunger Games, you will love the Divergent trilogy! 
(Booktalk by the Sequoya Youth Book Award committee, 2014)

Booktalk #3

In the first book of the Divergent trilogy, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior faces the day she must choose the faction to join in her futuristic Chicago society. Each of the five factions value one particular virtue - selflessness, bravery, intelligence, honesty and peacefulness. Beatrice doesn't feel she belongs in her current faction, but is terrified to leave her family behind to start a life of her own.

After making this difficult decision, she endures initiation into her community facing countless set-backs along the way. She must learn who she can trust and who she can't, while constantly questioning her choice. Does she really fit in anywhere? Can she live with the decision she has made and keep her secrets hidden?

This is a fast-paced read that will appeal to dystopian fans of books like The Hunger Games and The Giver, mixing in personal struggles, romance and lots of action.

SUBJECTS:     Identity -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Fiction.
                        Courage -- Fiction.
                        Social classes -- Fiction.
                        Science fiction.

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