The Roar: A Summer Reading Project

By: John Bach

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Who is Emma Clayton?

Emma Clayton was born June 11, 1968 and is a British children's author. Her father was a Royal Air Force Officer, so Emma moved a lot as a child. The Roar was published in January of 2008 and The Whisperer in 2012 by Chicken House Press. The Roar is set in a dystopian society in the future. The Roar was nominated for the Carnegie Medal in 2009, has won the Yorkshire Coast Book Award and was selected for the USBBY 2010 Outstanding International Books Honor List and the 2010 Texas Lone Star Reading List.

While in school, Emma Clayton was interested in the Arts. However, she dropped out of school at the age of 16 because she didn't want a traditional career path. In her late teens, she trained as a field archaeologist, a freelance illustrator, and then returned to school in her mid-twenties where she studied film and screen writing. She wrote her first novel at the age of 26, which was right after the birth of her daughter.

Character Analysis

Mika is a 12 year old boy that lives with his parents in future London. He believes that his twin sister is dead, but his instincts tell him that is not true. He is not selfish, brave, and has mind powers. Mika shows he is not selfish when he does what he has to do to find Ellie, like enter the competition. He shows his bravery when he meets with Mal Gorman to find out the secret. He is able to move things with his eyes. He always seems to have good instincts, vivid dreams, and this helps him throughout the book.

Ellie is a 12 year old girl that was kidnapped when she was very young. She has the power to hurt others with her mind- telepathy. Ellie hurts Mal Gorman when she is pulled up by the tow boat after her escape. Ellie is smart, resourceful, and she loves animals. She is resourceful when she steals the police pod in the end of the book to escape with Mika. Ellie loves animals because she will do anything to save Puck the monkey, like when she begged for Mal not to hurt him. Ellie's goal is to reunite with her family.


The book starts when Ellie and her monkey, Puck are flying a pod over the Atlantic Ocean. She is trying to escape her kidnapper, Mal Gorman, that had her captive at his Space Station. Mal has been looking for her with his guards. As she is flying across The Wall under the Golden Turrents, memories of the day she was kidnapped flooded her mind. Mal kidnapped her because she has special powers. She is chased by Mal's men but she is soon able to escape into The Shadows. Ellie makes a mistake somehow and ends up crashing into a floodplain called The Thames. She starts to sink, but Mal and his guards come to her "rescue" with a tow boat and pull her out. They then take her back to the Space Station. The story switches to Ellie's twin brother, Mika, who is at his home and feels like his throat is closing. His parents and him rush to the hospital. He and his family have been told by the authorities that Ellie is dead. Mika doesn't believe them. Mika attends school and one day he learns he has to start taking health supplements. He thinks that the Fit Mix is a poison given out by the government. He gets in trouble by the school because he won't drink the mix, so he goes home punished while his therapist comes over to convince him to drink it and do what the government says to do. Mika takes her advice and joins the Pod Racer competition. As he continues through the different stages of the competition, he makes many new friends. Mika wins a prize in the competition and goes on a vacation with his mom, dad and other contestants in the games. While he is away, he has his dreams and thoughts read by a scientist. He passes this part of the test and moves to the next stage. While he is at Cape Wrath he has to go through more vigorous tests using his powers- mind powers. He senses his sister is near. He then goes to Mal Gorman to find out how he can talk to her. Then Mika goes home to his new Golden Turrent house and he didn't tell anyone the "secret" like Mal Gorman said to do. While he was at the party the people from The Shadows invaded the Golden Turrents with a riot and Mika found his sister, Ellie. Ellie finds Mika and they hide together until the riot moves on. The twins then steal a police pod, escape policemen that are chasing them, and fly over The Wall where the police can't follow them. Mika and Ellie soon find out that the plague was never real. There is more to this story that you will have to read about! I don't want to give away the's too good!


The Roar is set in London, about 50 years into the future, and "The Plague" has devastated the Earth, causing animals to turn into "rabid beasts." The population of the Earth has been forced into a confined area of Europe (London) where "socioeconomic differences are heightened due to the lack of resources." (The Roar) The city is cramped to say the least. The last survivors of the human race build The Wall, stretching the entire Earth. The humans occupy the Northern Hemisphere, while the Southern hemisphere is left empty. Well, besides the toxic gases used to kill off all living animals.


The book is mainly about a boy named Mika. The book shows his struggle to find his twin sister, Ellie that was kidnapped. In the beginning of the book, Ellie tries to escape from Mal Gorman, but finds herself right back with him again. Mika believes that Ellie is still alive even though mostly everyone around him thinks that she dead. The only one that understands Mika is Helen, his therapist. Helen tells him that if he enters a competition, he has a chance of reuniting with Ellie again. He has to undergo drinking fit mix, pretending that he is normal, and do everything that his classmates are doing. His problems aren't what matter to him because the only thing that does matter is finding Ellie. He is willing to risk everything to find her.
The characters in this book are very unique and are all gifted. Most of the characters in the book are mutants. What amazed me about the characters was that they had extraordinary powers that you wouldn't even expect in a Marvel Movie. The thing that I did not like about the mutants was that they were forced to use their powers for evil. Mika, the main character in the book, is very amazing. What I like about him is that he always follows his heart and he is always right. His instincts told him that Ellie was alive and also told him that drinking the fit mix would be wrong. The thing I don't like about him is that sometimes he didn't listen to his instincts, which made him have more problems in the end.
The book overall was great, but there were some parts that I would have changed to make the book a little better. The thing that I didn't like about the book was the ending (don’t worry, I won’t give the ending away). I felt like the book didn't really end, and there needed to be more pages to read to fully understand the ending. The thing that made up the confusion of the ending was the plot. The plot was very detailed and interesting, and filled with twists and turns. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, The Whisperer!

Themes Found in This Book

Courage: Take risks for the ones you love.

Bravery: Go out of your comfort zone to do what you think is right.

Survival: Do what ever it takes to stay alive.

Family: Family sticks together no matter how far apart they are.

The Genre

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Who Should Read This?



Kids ages 10-15

Anyone that liked The Hunger Games


The Roar by Emma Clayton (boy and girl by moon picture) (city picture) (Emma Clayton picture) (book cover picture) (pod picture) (genre picture) (info about Emma Clayton)