Written by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publisher’s Summary:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra–who are barely even talking to each other–are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy, and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents–including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more–Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Primary Source Pairing:
The unique epistolary-style format of the text is a visual playground for readers. Let the text itself serve as the primary source, and encourage students to not only study the hacked documents but to consider the book’s format itself and how it helps tell the story of survival of Kady and Ezra.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • How much of the text can you read? What does it say?
  • How are the words arranged?
  • What do you notice about the page the writing appears on?
  • What do you see on the page besides writing?
  • What other details can you see?
  • How does the format of the text help in telling the story?
  • How would your reading experience be different if the story was told in a traditional text format with no images or visual components?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett