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31 Days of Authors: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (a 2011 Teens’ Top Ten winner)

Teen Read Week was October 16th through the 22nd, but here at The Hub, we’re celebrating all month long with 31 Days of Authors. On each day in October, we’ll bring you exclusive author interviews and profiles plus reflections on what YALSA-recognized books have meant to us. Today we feature Pittacus Lore, whose book I Am Number Four is #4 (of course!) on this year’s Teens’ Top Ten list.

The Teens’ Top Ten is all about popularity, and I Am Number Four, the first book in the Lorien Legacies series, has certainly been in high demand at my library. The book tells the story of John Smith (not his real name!), an alien from the planet Lorien who’s on the run from the Mogadorians, a race of evil aliens who destroyed Lorien. John is accompanied and protected by his Cêpan, an adult from Lorien tasked with protecting John. There are eight other Lorien teens on earth, and the Mogadorians are required to hunt them in order. Numbers One, Two, and Three are dead–and John is Number Four. It’s no wonder that the book is popular: the story is high-action, the villains are ruthless, and who doesn’t wish they’d develop superpowers?

Adding to the book’s popularity is the movie based on it, which came out six months after the book was published. Starring Alex Pettyfer as Number Four, it stays true to the fast-paced, action-based nature of the book. What I thought was especially neat about the movie is that teachers and recent graduates from the school where the movie was filmed were used as extras–how cool would it be to be part of a movie being shot at your own school!

We don’t know much about Pittacus Lore, the alien who wrote I Am Number Four and the second book in the series, The Power of Six. He’s Lorien’s ruling Elder and has been on Earth for the last twelve years, preparing for the war between the Lorien and the Mogadorians–which will also determine Earth’s fate. His whereabouts are listed as being unknown, and he certainly has to keep his identity a secret to protect himself–and possibly the Lorien teens, too–from the Mogadorians.

Pittacus Lore was unavailable for comment on his book making the Teens’ Top Ten, but he did an interview for Entertainment Weekly’s Shelf Life, and he’s been answering readers’ questions on YouTube; check them out to learn more about why he’s telling his story now and what the title of the next book (which comes out next August) is.

— Gretchen Kolderup, currently reading I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

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