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The Scourge

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,657 ratings  ·  525 reviews
When a plague isn’t all that kills…

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 th
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by Scholastic Press
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Heidi I just discovered this! If you click on the libraries tab (next to get a copy, & amazon) it takes you to a library page that lists the book as YA.…moreI just discovered this! If you click on the libraries tab (next to get a copy, & amazon) it takes you to a library page that lists the book as YA. I wish goodreads would make this more obvious.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,657 ratings  ·  525 reviews

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Jul 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Forgive me for delaying this review, but I’m just so darn befuddled right about now. How on earth is this a standalone fantasy novel? From the very beginning, I, as a reader, received signals that the ending was nowhere near (as in two books away).

Well now. Let’s forget about this. I think I’m out of my stupor. (But really, what the hell?)

The Scourge is pretty entertaining. That has to do a lot with its set of characters, whom are nothing short of a courageous law-breaking group. The main charac
Jennifer Nielsen
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
Okay yes, I'm biased.

But I am so proud of this book, and I hope it's one you'll enjoy!

The idea began in a most unusual place - a fascination with leprosy in the 20th Century. We knew what it was AND how to cure it, yet because of the stigma associated with it, in many places, it was still legal to pull a leprosy victim away from their home and send them to an isolation colony permanently. There are still some colonies in the world where survivors remain, voluntarily now. And I thought, if a gove
jv poore
River people are derogatorily referred to as “grubs” and in retaliation, they only address townspeople as “pinchworms”. It is true that the folks outside of town prefer their own company and way of life. It is also accurate to say they’ve been ostracized, blamed for being the source and spreaders of the Scourge, stealing so many lives hundreds of years ago.

Ani Mells is a proud river person known to create a touch of trouble wherever she goes. Perhaps a bit stubborn and quite possibly prejudiced
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
m a r y l i z
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think I'm gonna need about ten years to catch my breath. GOOD GRIEF, THIS BOOK WAS INTENSE. It kept me on the edge of my seat, white-knuckled in some parts. (Whether that was from the excitement of the book or trying to beat Jonny remains to be decided. XP)

It was also uproariously seriously, the sass levels? WAY OFF THE CHARTS. I think I'm officially in love with Jennifer Nielsen's books. Just like The Ascendance Trilogy, I laughed out loud more than I can remember. This author ju
Colleen Houck
A really cool concept. Those in power manufacture a disease to get rid of people who might cause trouble. The cage was an interesting punishment. It would definitely work on me. Loved the beginning when the heroine is hanging upside down with a vine wrapped around her leg. =)
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: speculative
DISCLAIMER: overload of excerpts to follow. Approach at your own risk.

Bartek rubbed his stubby chin, looking us over. "They're younger than I expected. They couldn't have caused all that trouble."
I lowered my eyes and tried not to defend myself, to insist that, in fact, I hadn't yet reached my full potential for causing chaos and general mayhem.

I'M JUST GLAD THAT I CAN STILL BREATHE. This was basically a perfectly executed plot and it has left me 100% breathless.

First off- can we all just tak
Kailyn Kausen
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Jennifer A Nielson is one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, authors. I have to admit though that I was not impressed with this book.

I had difficulty identifying the age of the characters because the writing seemed targeted at middle grade kids, but some content signaled a YA audience. So maybe a transition age? But then I also had some other problems with this book, including there was still a lot of information being handed to me up past page 100 and Nielson would point out things t
Kate Willis
Since my Goodreads friends are such big fans of Jennifer Nielsen, I decided it was high time I tried one of her books. I chose this standalone because 1) the cover and interior formatting <3 and 2) the concept looked interesting. ;)

It was good. :D

I always love me a good medieval setting, and this book had it all. Dungeons, trees, primitive medicine, hardy rural folk…

Speaking of hardy rural folk, while Ani wasn’t my favorite character ever, this was one thing I liked about her. She could have
Aug 24, 2016 rated it liked it
The story really grows on you as you follow Ani and Weevil, (who are great friends by the way,) as they are forced to uncover the vile truth behind the scourge firsthand. The story is fairly fast paced and rather entertaining, but also a little to obvious in regards to plot twists; possibly because they are hinted at numerous times beforehand. Yet, I would happily recommend it to middle graders, although it won't likely be the first novel to spring to mind. Still, it's a decent read, and enterta ...more
Libby May
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book but it was like a more sci-fi, none-religion based rebellion in almost exactly the same plot theme as Counted Worthy that I just read XDD
Anyway, besides that it was clean in regards to language, witchcraft, romance, and such. There wasn't any violence but definitely some cruel mind games and threats to manipulate people into doing what the antagonists wanted done. I didn't think it was bad but if that sort of thing bothers you then that's probably not the best idea for you.
Ms. Yingling
This one is definitely fantasy, set in a sort of medievalish world plagued not only by disease but by divisive class wars. Not as action packed as the author's other works.
Pranta Ghosh Dastider
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it

Beware of the land
Where enemy is bright,
For townspeople and river-folks
The Scourge has come alike.

When I started this book, I was sure I was going to like it. Since, Jeni Neilsen has never let me down, this was a must. The question was how much was I going to enjoy it? And to be honest, I wish I could enjoy it more. But, the amount of joy I got was alright.

The story starts with all of her books, with a mischievous character, a good supporting friend and villain. Here on top of all these the
ashley nicole
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First off, I just want to say how much I love Jennifer Nielsen's writing in general. I love the wit she puts into her books and this book was no exception.
From the beginning, we hear snarky remarks from both Ani and Weevil (who just happen to be perfect for each other *heart eyes*) that at times made me laugh out loud.
I loved the friendship between these two as well, which eventually buds into romance. Their devotion to each other is so heart-warming!
And then there's Della. Her addition to the
Nov 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Maybe 3.5 stars. Ani and Weevil are best friends from the lower caste River People; however, their people are blamed for a terrible disease (the Scourge.) Anyone with the disease is banished to a island prison to avoid contamination, but the truth is something different as Ani and Weevil discover. I found the first half of the book kind of slow, but liked the pacing in the second half. Also, I thought the world building was subpar, especially in comparison to the richness of Nielsen's Ascendance ...more
Krissy Aleman
Well that wasn't the greatest, and it took a while to get started, but once it did it never really stopped.

(3.5 stars)

I probably set my hopes too high because of how much I loved The False Prince, but this just...wasn't as great? Not that much really happened until the very end, and the conclusion was so rushed, it didn't quite seem like it was over. But it was definitely a fun book!
(also, I aggressively headcanon Weevil as black. Nothing can ever change my mind.)
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
With each book she writes, my love for Jennifer A. Nielsen deepens. She writes in a way the hooks the reader and keeps the pages turning, needing to know what happens to the amazing characters she creates. The Scourge is another must have for your classroom library! Readers will love the spunkiness of Ani and the loyalty of the friendship she shares with Weevil!
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is no secret that I’m a big fan of Jennifer Nielson and her books. From the first page of The False Prince, I was hooked by the way she spins a tale, throwing you right into the action with characters you can’t help but love and root for. The Scourge is no different, pitting the sassy and irreverent Ani Mells against impossible situations. As you’d expect from one of Nielsen’s characters, Ani does not play by the rules and she never goes down without a fight. Ani is gutsy and smart—truly a ch ...more
Rosie LaJenky
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was horribly disappointed by this book. I loved Jennifer Nielsen's other fantastic books, especially the Ascendance Trilogy, but this book was . . . boring. And I didn't care for Ani or Weevil. Perhaps it was too rushed, or I just didn't have enough time to actually care.
I don't know.
But I found myself speeding through the book not because I couldn't tear myself away but because I wanted it done and over with.
False Prince is so much better.
Oh, and this book is the most predictable thing in the
This was one of those book that was definitely not something I should have read. It's my own fault. I should have known better. The characters weren't too bad. I did like the friendship Weevil and Ani had. I will admit the ending was interesting too. I didn't see it being that. Just took too long to get there.
Page Morgan
I really liked Ani and her friend, Weevil, as well as the premise (though I did have the plot twist more or less figured out less than a quarter of the way into the story). Ani was a strong main character with a great voice. I haven't read the author's other books yet, but I will definitely do so now.
Kenya Reviews Stuff  (ReviewsMayVary)
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z2017read
Enjoyed this middle grade book about a girl who is on a mission to find a cure for the infection that has been ravaging her town. A little predictable if you read All The Books; a good one for the more casual reader.
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it
ARC from ALA

Summary: Jennifer Nielsen writes another solid middle grades action-adventure pitched to please a wide audience of readers. Clear character development and social themes make this book rewarding for younger readers; I would have liked to have seen the plotting a little tighter and the book a little shorter.

Review: Ani Mells is a River Person of Keldan. The townspeople look down on the nature-based ways of the river people and call them “grubs,” for Ani, the townspeople are the “pinch
Avery (ThePagemaster)
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ever since the Ascendance/False Prince Trilogy, Nielsen has grown to become one of my favorite authors. Then, she came out with her historical fiction debut, A Night Divided, which, despite not being as breathtaking as the FP Trilogy, it did have a lot of impact and another recommend.

Now, The Scourge delves back into the fantasy niche that attracted me towards Nielsen, but a standalone and not a trilogy/series.

The inspiration for this novel was what made me love this book a little more than the
Serene Feng
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*5 full stars*

Oh my. Oh my!!
I'm so in love with Jennifer Neilsen's books!!
I've never read anything quite like her style of writing.
I usually don't like books with a dystopia theme, but The Scourge sure was an exception.
I absolutely loved how one of the book's main focuses was around friendship, and how Ani kept being hopeful even though everything was so wrong.
The friendship Ani has with Weevil is beautiful. It reminds me time after time again what true friendship means. Sometimes I even wish
Brooke Wayne
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It always surprised me with what happened, which is refreshing when I've just read so many predictable books lately. I especially loved the ending. My only itty bitty little problem with it is when (view spoiler). But other than that, I really loved this book. Especially the plot twists. T ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved Jennifer's trilogy of the False Prince so I tried another book of hers to see if I would be equally pleased. I love this author's style of writing and I read the book in about 24 hours, which, I don't do very often due to busy lifestyle, but I couldn't put it down.

So far what I gather from this author is that she combines intensity with humor. Though there is this horrible plague taking many lives, you can't help but laugh at the quirkiness of certain characters.

Her books are geared towa
Ali Benam
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Intense and entertaining.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The characters and their loyal friendship is what made this book for me. The plot was extremely obvious but I loved Ani and Weevil so much I didn't mind.
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I received a free physical copy of this book from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review.

Ani Mells is one of the River People living outside of the city of Keldan where the Scourge has run rampant for 300 years. Luckily, the River People have avoided the disease by staying far away and living rough lives eking out a living on the land. But when Ani is captured by the Wardens of Keldan, along with her best friend Weevil, she tests positive for the Scourge.
Along with the daugh
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KMS Gr6 Library: The Scourge 1 2 Sep 17, 2017 11:36AM  
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Jennifer lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. She is a former speech teacher, theater director, and enjoyed a brief but disastrous career as a door-to-door pollster. In her spare time, Jennifer tends to panic, wondering what she has f ...more
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“It's easy to hate what you don't understand.” 13 likes
“Sometimes I hated the way my brain worked, like a magnet to thoughts I should not have and actions I should not take. My mother said I was born backward and that probably explained how I'd gotten this way. Maybe she was right - I didn't know.” 3 likes
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