The Maze Runner

By: 

James Dashner

Number of Pages: 

375

Minimum grade level: 

6th

When Thomas wakes up the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no memory of anything else. He finds himself in a metal box. When it opens, he sees a group of teenagers staring back at him. They call themselves Gladers and none of them remember who they are or why they are there. What they do know is that they live in the Glade, a perfectly temperature-controlled environment with trees, grass and animals, surrounded by giant stone walls. Everyone has a job and the Runners are the only ones to ever go into the maze. Their mission is to solve the maze. Every night at precisely the same time the walls move to close the openings that lead into the maze and any runner not back on time, dies at the hands of the Grievers, the terrifying creatures who live in the maze.

Although the boys have no contact with anyone outside their world, they get weekly deliveries of food and supplies and each month a new boy is delivered. Thomas has barely enough time to figure out what is going on in his new world before they receive a strange shipment. A girl. The first one. She sits up and says, "Everything is going to change" and then passes out. Clutched in her hand they find a scrap of paper that reads: “She's the last one. Ever.”

Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. Who were your least and most favorite people in the Glade and why?
  2. Why do you think the residents wouldn't answer Thomas' questions when he arrived?
  3. As you were reading, what were your ideas about the following: Who were the Creators? What was the Glade? What was the purpose of the maze?
  4. What job would you choose if you lived in the Glade and why?
  5. Why do you think there was only one girl in the story and why was she the last to arrive?
  6. In the epilogue there is a memo from a wicked employee named Ava. She feels there is an obvious leader who has emerged from the Maze Trials. Who would you choose as the leader and why? Ava also mentions Group B. Who do you think they are and do you think they differ from Group A? If so, how?
  7. What do you think happened in the Flair? What do you think society looks like after the Flair? Do you think this story is set in the past, present or future and why?

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