AM Teen's Book Of The Week #The Girl With All The Gifts
I recommend this week the book The girl with all the gifts by M.R Carey.
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad. This book will keep you very eager to get to the next chapter , and enthusiastic about what going to happen at the end of the book.
About the book:
Twenty years ago humanity was infected by a variation of the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. The infected, referred to as "hungries", quickly lose their mental powers and feed on the flesh of healthy humans. The disease spreads through blood and saliva, but can also spread through spores created by the fungus. In England, the few surviving uninfected humans either live in heavily-guarded areas such as the Beacon, or roam in packs of hostile, scavenging "junkers".
The Beacon sets up a remote military base for the study of a specific group of child hungries. They, unlike others, are able to retain their mental powers and only lose control when they get too close to human scent. Soldiers, led by Sergeant Ed Parks, find such hungries and bring them to the base, where they are educated by teachers and tested by the head scientist, Caroline Caldwell. This often means she vivisects the children, which Helen Justineau, a behavioural psychologist and base teacher, dislikes. Justineau sees the child hungries as people, and is especially fond of Melanie, a 10-year-old with a genius-level IQ. Melanie loves Justineau as a surrogate mother, and like the other children does not understand that she is different.
Caldwell, who believes that she is close to a cure for the fungus, chooses to dissect Melanie. As Justineau interrupts and tries to save her the base is attacked by a group of junkers and hungries; Caldwell is badly wounded, while Melanie eats flesh for the first time while saving Justineau. The three find Parks and Private Kieran Gallagher, and flee the base together. The group decides to travel to Beacon, 74 miles away, but the adults argue over whether to bring Melanie. Parks only agrees after placing a muzzle on the child; Melanie cooperates, now aware of the danger she poses to the others.
Melanie proves useful to the adults; hungries do not attack her, and she can lead them away from the humans. While Caldwell still sees Melanie as a specimen, the others begin to trust the child. After several encounters with hungries, including a few adults that also retain some human-like behavior, the group finds the mobile laboratory Rosalind Franklin. It was built soon after the epidemic began with state-of-art facilities for experimentation and attack, but disappeared on its research mission. Caldwell, who is dying from sepsis, uses its equipment to urgently continue her research.
While Melanie sates her hunger away from the others by eating wild animals, she finds a group of child hungries. Melanie sees that they, too, retain their mental functions, although they have no language of their own, being uneducated. Afraid that they will be experimented on, Melanie instead tells the adults she saw a large group of junkers, but reveals the truth to Justineau. Gallagher, scared of junkers, flees the lab. He is found by the intelligent hungries and killed.
While Parks and Justineau search for Gallagher, Caldwell—obsessed with finishing her research before dying—captures one of the intelligent hungries and experiments on him. She makes remarkable findings but does not let the others inside, fearing that they will interfere. Melanie finds a giant mass of fungus spores that have grown in the years since the infection began; while there are enough to infect the entire world by air currents, the buds that contain the spores do not flower on their own.
Melanie tricks Caldwell into letting her inside. Before dying, Caldwell tells her findings to Melanie: There is no cure or vaccine for the fungus. Intelligent hungries are second-generation ones, conceived by hungries who retained some human behavior. Those born in this way retain their mental abilities.
Outside the lab, Parks and Justineau are cornered by hungries. Melanie frightens them away, but Justineau is knocked unconscious and Parks is bitten and infected. Parks asks Melanie to shoot him before the infection cycle finishes so he does not turn into a hungry; she agrees to do so. She asks him to shoot the mass of spores with a flamethrower, deducing correctly that the environmental trigger to open the spores is fire. Before Melanie complies with Parks' request to kill him, she explains that as long as there are healthy humans, the war between them and the hungries will continue. For second-generation hungries to be born and rebuild the world, every human must first be infected.
Justineau awakens in the Rosalind Franklin. Melanie leads her to a group of intelligent hungries, to whom Justineau, wearing an environmental protection suit, starts teaching the alphabet.
Trailer for the Movie: