Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

7b156e9c93-4852-46da-8ad1-419db7ec55557dimg400Information: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was published in 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 0553499114

Plot Summary: Illuminae is about the year 2575, when two corporations are fighting just above a planet. When fire and debris rain down to the planet’s surface, the people living on the planet are forced to evacuate. Kady and Ezra, who have only just broken up, manage to make it to a fleet ship, only to discover a plague has broken out and the ship is being chased by an enemy fleet. On top of it all, the ships’ Artificial Intelligence is malfunctioning and may or may not be the one spreading the sickness all over the ship. The disaster forces Kady and Ezra to work together to try and bring the remaining crew to safety, as well as warn all other passing ships.

Critical Evaluation: Illuminae is told  through a dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, forcing readers to see every action from a bird’s eye view. This unique telling of Kady and Ezra’s story forces the reader into the futuristic mindset of space stations and travelling across the galaxy to safety. It highlights the main focus, which isn’t their relationship, but instead details every step they took in trying to save their ship and the people on board.

Reader’s Annotation: After Kady and Ezra barely escape off their home planet, they become trapped on a doomed ship, full of a quickly spreading plague and a malfunctioning AI. Now they are forced to work together to try to save the ship and their lives.

Author’s Information: Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary (Goodreads).

Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell. He does not believe in happy endings (Goodreads).

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction

Curriculum Ties: (Florida State Curriculum Standards): Understanding Key Literary Ideas

Book Talk Ideas:

  • Would the book be just as good if it was written as a traditional novel? Would it lose some of its believability?
  • How much control did the AI really have? Or was he just manipulating people’s emotions?

Reading Level/ Age Interest: Grades 9-12 and Ages 15-18

Challenge Issues: Violence, Language

Challenge Defense File:

Selection Policy

The System will select and maintain a comprehensive collection of print, non-print, audio visual and electronically accessed materials to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the citizens of Sarasota County. The System will strive to offer wide ranging collections that meet the various ages, interests, educational levels, and cultural backgrounds of all members of the community and will provide collections through which an individual may explore all points of view and issues of interest. In making selections, the library staff will do so based upon principle rather than personal opinion, reason rather than prejudice, and judgment rather than censorship. Furthermore, staff will be responsive to public demand for materials of contemporary significance and interest, while balancing this with the need to collect and preserve materials of permanent value. While library staff makes material selections based upon the tenet of one system, one collection, selectors recognize the distinct characteristics and needs of the populace that each library services. Community profiles are used to guide selectors in efforts to develop special collections and to meet the unique patron needs within each library.

The ultimate responsibility for selection materials rests with the General Manager of Libraries and the Management Team, who in turn delegates selection responsibilities to the Collection Development Librarians (Sarasota County Policy).  


Kaufman, A., Kristoff, J. (2015) Illuminae. New York, New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers. This novel has a unique presentation that will collides real life communication and a science fiction story. Illuminae is a thrilling story of adventure, selflessness, and sacrifice.

Other recommendations like this book include: The Body Electric by Beth Revis, Soulprint by Megan Miranda, and The Edge of Forever by Melissa E. Hurst.

Active Listening Skills

  • Remain calm
  • Listen thoughtfully and carefully to any arguments for the collection
  • Engage in a discussion that considers every concern, even if you do not agree


  • Aurealis Award Nominee for Best Science Fiction Novel (2015)
  • Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) (2015)
  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2015)

Reconsideration Form


Selection Tools:

Why I chose this book:

I chose this book because of its creative writing style and for its thrilling journey through a future world. It contained a lot of mystery and adventure, with a little bit of romance. It’s a challenging concept, but probably one of the next hit series.


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