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The Winnowing

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  412 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Marivic Stone lives in a small world, and that’s fine with her. Home is with her beloved grandfather in a small town that just happens to be famous for a medical discovery that saved humankind — though not without significant repercussions. Marivic loves her best friend, Saren, and the two of them promise to stick together, through thick and thin, and especially through th ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by Scholastic Canada Ltd
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Vikki VanSickle Thanks, Karen! I love it, too! The title came REALLY early, which is unusual for me. Usually titles are one of the hardest parts of the process. But I…moreThanks, Karen! I love it, too! The title came REALLY early, which is unusual for me. Usually titles are one of the hardest parts of the process. But I really loved the word winnowing and kept it front and centre while working on the novel. I promise it makes sense once you read it ;) (less)
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3.76  · 
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 ·  412 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probably my favourite so far is the Red Maple,nominated books. This is a good dystopian tale for fans of Hunger Games and Divergent but perhaps a little more age appropriate for the younger crowd. It is a bit less sophisticated but still enjoyable for an adult. This will be on my gift list for certain young readers this holiday.
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet Vikki Vansickle at the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference in Toronto. She came to our booth for a book signing and quickly had a long line of fans. Some came for a free signed copy after already reading and enjoying The Winnowing, while others came because they've heard the increasing buzz surrounding this book which has been short-listed for a Forest of Reading Red Maple award.

While this book has a strong Sci-Fi vibe, readers (like myself)
Jennifer Rayment
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of VanSickle's greatest gifts is bringing real life and practicality to everything she writes. I have always thought she is the modern day Judy Blume (This is a huge honour in my mind) In this novel it works so brilliantly as its a paranormal story, but the characters are so real and honest, it makes the paranormal aspect seem even more believable. I wish I was more articulate to explain what I mean here, just know that you must read everything she writes, you will not be disappointed. This ...more
Ben Reffell
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: red-maple-2017
This is a fine (although disposable) middle-grade novel.

This was the first book I read for the 2017 Red Maple thingamajig, and it didn’t exactly set the bar very high.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t a complete mess of a book. There’s some creative elements, as well as some decently surprising third-act twists.

The entire concept was genuinely interesting and well-thought out. I think this was the main reason I kept reading.

Certain characters are appealing. But that’s only a handful. All the other
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recipient of the 2019 MYRCA Northern Lights Honour Award, The Winnowing is a well-crafted dystopian tale. As Marivic and her friends approach adolescence, they must prepare for the winnowing, a procedure deemed necessary to preserve humankind. However, Marivic starts unveiling information, which makes them question everything they've grown up believing.

I recommend The Winnowing for grades 7-9.
I received a copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review

I also hosted Vikki VanSickle for her blog tour on my blog here

The Winnowing by Vikki VanSickle is a Young Adult/Middle Grade novel that features a past where something called "The Winnowing" occurs--which is basically a stripping of night terrors and side-effects that affect a young person once they hit puberty. Though it admittedly took me a while to get into it, I enjoyed VanSickle's writing and loved the adventure aspect of
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Winnowing is a surprisingly fantastic read for me. I can graduate the author for the world-building, the history, the twists, and basically averting a few tropes. One such example was when Kamal was introduced, I rolled my eyes and said, “Now he’ll be the unnecessary love interest and he and Marivic would do this blah blah”. Imagine my surprise and relief when at the end, Kamal DID NOT end up with Marivic!

Of course, I do have a few cons of this book. The greatest one is how I kept forgettin
Jennifer G
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book for teenagers. Thanks to a friend, I recommended this to my daughter, and then I read it too. Loved it!
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book had get mystery a creepy vibe and was one of my favorite red maple books so far this year 4.25<5
May 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mycah Broer
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, I thought that it was a great dystopian fiction, and I would definitely recommend it to a younger crowd, but... the ending was quite disappointing. The way the conflict was solved was so easy and it didn’t even totally make sense. The way the book ended was boring, nothing happened it was just a happy ending and it left my overall opinion of the book less than it would’ve been because of that. So even though I enjoyed the book, the ending could have been much better.
Andreea (Infinite Text)
The Winnowing follows protagonist Marivic Stone who lives in a small town. There’s an eeriness about the setting reminiscent of Night Vale or Stranger Things, maybe even The Twilight Zone. The general narrative is certainly contemporary and realistic, but there are strange occurrences bordering the supernatural which makes this book hard to classify. VanSickle imagines a past where post-World War II there had been an outbreak of infertility rather than a baby-boom, and in this society the medica ...more
Christine H
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mg-lit, sci-fi-lit
I'd have given this just above 4 stars if I could!

I don’t think I’ll ever not like a book written by Vikki VanSickle, and The Winnowing is no exception. This is her first foray into sci-fi, and it definitely had me wanting more.

1. I bought The Winnowing without knowing what the book is about. That’s how much I trust VanSickle in her ability to tell a great story. I’ve read all of her other books, and the one thing that ties them all together is that they are written with so much authenticity … I
Huge thank you to Scholastic Canada for this ARC!

I want to preface this review by saying a couple of truths: I am a wuss who is easily spooked. I love things that can't entirely be explained. The Winnowing is such a departure from VanSickle's previous, more contemporary novels. This is her foray into science fiction, and her love letter to the strange and whimsy.

I will not lie, I was hesitant to read this book even after talking with Vikki at a conference we were both attending. I love her cont
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book...This book did a lot of things for me. Not all of them great, but not all of them bad.

Things I liked: The world and characters were very flushed out. The story was intriguing and even though it followed the current trend of 'lead protagonist takes down large government entity' it added enough of a different spin to create something fresh and new.

Things that I'm on the fence with: The big twist in the middle of the novel. I'm not going to spoil things, but it switchs genres from a Ut
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Winnowing is a great book, it starts explaining what is going on from the first few pages, which some books fail to do until somewhere in the middle. I find it really helpful that it explains what ACES is and the SuperGen. Or at least what Marivic thinks it is.

I really like Marivic's character, she is loyal, and a really good friend. In fact, I think she and Saren got a level 4 ATP because they are really close. She is brave and her loyalty to her friend makes her even braver.

The Winnowin
Alex Lyttle
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, I'm really glad this book wasn't in the same category as mine for the Forest of Reading Awards. I can see why it won The Red Maple Award.

Set in a dystopian, earth-like setting with a fertility crisis (think Handmaid's Tale but FAR less depressing... I mean, seriously, my wife makes me watch that show and I leave feeling like my soul has been sucked from my body for several days afterwards. But that's a side note. Another side note, anyone under 18 should not watch the Handmaid's Tale. EVER
Robert LeBlanc
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting book. Obviously written for a younger audience but it still holds some entertainment value. I found the first few pages a little awkward, not so much because the topic was about pubescent teenagers going to some mysterious medical facility, but more because it felt like VanSickle latched very specifically and mechanically onto a rite of passage that the audience would connect with. It felt too forced, like you just pull a topic a random topic out of your 'topics for youth novels ...more
Lee Födi
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book checks a lot of boxes for me, both as a reader and someone who teaches creative writing to kids. The vocabulary is rich and evocative, the plot interesting (and sometimes intense), and it celebrates mystery and teenage life without once devolving into love triangles. Actually, come to think of it, there is no romance in the book—which is a refreshing turn of events in what is the usual tried-and-true trop of a young adult or middle-grade dystopian novel. The main character of Marivic i ...more
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Winnowing by Vikki VanSickle is one of the best middle grade novels I have read this year! A departure from her earlier work but I see a huge future in the sci-fi/fantasy realm. I was hooked right in from the beginning! A dash of Divergent, a handful of The X Files, a pinch of history, and a whole cup of friendship, Ms VanSickle has created a recipe for a successful read. I so love how The Winnowing takes us back in time to the 80's (the decade of my childhood) and imagines a world that coul ...more
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canlit-pub-2017
The Winnowing is a fast paced, gripping read that will have you thinking about the characters long after you've read the book. Set in modern day, the story revolves around the events after WWII when there has been a worldwide outbreak of infertility. Barton Medical Center is at the heart of the novel and it is where discoveries have been made that has reversed the infertility crisis. Thanks to modern medicine, teens now only need to go there to be "winnowed" - a procedure that will cure them of ...more
Sunny S
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Changed from a high school life to mystery to thriller to sci-fi to dystopia. No romance though.

Crappy ending, great story line development, explores many relevant topics, like friendship, dealing with extraterrestrial life, prejudice and misconceptions. Pace was a bit rushed at the end, all the hint that have been set up was given too quickly all at once, like the author is hurrying for lunch or something. Many great foreshadowing and connections though out the book, giving it a dynamic and com
Isabelle Li
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
To be honest, after reading the first few chapters of The Winnowing by Vikki Vansickle, I was seriously doubting the quality of this book, despite everyone else's raving about it. As I continued reading, I realized that I had seriously underestimated it. The plot was complicated and extremely unpredictable, when I thought it would be the exact opposite. One thing, however, that I would change about this story is the ending, where I felt that the author could’ve elaborated on what happened to the ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-maple
After the war, people are unable to have babies. The infinity crises has started, but luckily at barton the barton five come up with an antidote that solves this problem, called the supergen. Everybody at Darby, gets the shot in first grade, buy beside the ability to have babies, the children developpe imps, recurring nightmares that supergen children have, that's were the winnowing comes in. A surgery that prevents these recurring nightmares, but when winfree a society against the winnowing, as ...more
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Winnowing has a lot going for it. It has a great premise, a solid plot, and well-written characters. It has a few interesting and unexpected twists and, unfortunately, a single twist I saw coming from a mile away.

While the book has a satisfying ending I feel that the ending was somewhat rushed and anticlimactic - the story is at its peak and's a little bit disappointing. I can't say it's a bad ending though - it just lacked a little punch.

Another solid Red Maple nominee.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm the 'teacher expert' for this book for my school's Forest of Reading program. I was interested in reading this Red Maple nominee from the get-go and it didn't disappoint. The story is original and mixes elements of dystopia, science fiction and mystery. My only wish for this book is that there was a little more of a backstory to the events from the end of the Second World War to the book's present (1989). Nevertheless, a good book all around and I look forward to discussing it with Red Maple ...more
Shakeel Jivraj
Disappointing, passable, and disturbing best describes "The Winnowing", where adolescent protagonist, Marivic Stone, tries to uncover the mystery behind a procedure teenagers must have at puberty to control their ACES (Adolescent Chromosomniatic Episodes). Although, Marivic's perilous quest is filled with action and suspense, the plot is fragmented and hard to understand. In addition, I believe, some themes are inappropriate for a teen fiction novel. "The Winnowing" is not a highly recommended r ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Random Girl
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
So...I read it, and it wasn't bad, wasn't terrible, and I didn't hate it. It was just meh. Originally, for some reason, I thought it'd be a spooky book. It could be, but only slightly. It took a slight Sci-Fi turn so I don't know. It was okay, and whatever. It wasn't fangirling worthy for me, and I wasn't like "IM GONNA DIE FOR THIS BOOK AND SELL MY SOUL FOR IT TO BE REAL" kind of thing. It was just entertaining honestly, and that's what I needed.
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Everything I need to know in life I learned from children's literature. Growing up in Woodstock, Ontario I was a big library kid, burning through the spinner racks and entering every writing contest I was eligible for. My work ranges from contemporary middle grade fiction to magical, storytime-ready picture books.

I am currently living in Toronto where I work in children's publishing in addition t
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