82 pages 2 hours read

Scott Westerfeld


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2009

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Teacher Introduction


  • Genre: Fiction; alternative history/steampunk
  • Originally Published: 2009
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 790L; grades 7-12
  • Structure/Length: 41 chapters; approximately 448 pages; approximately 8 hours, 16 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: Leviathan is the first book in a steampunk series set during an alternate version of World War I; the opposing sides represent two different technological ideologies—the Darwinists, who engineer animals, and the Clankers, who rely on machinery. The central conflict concerns two protagonists: Alek, the son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and a Clanker, and Deryn, a Darwinist girl who disguises herself as a boy to join the British Air Service. Alek and Deryn cross paths when the great airship Leviathan is attacked and must land in the Alps. The novel explores general themes of war, identity, and secrets.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: War, conflict, and societal divisions; loss of family members; references to murder; violence

Scott Westerfeld, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1963; American author known for his young adult and science fiction novels; celebrated for his inventive storytelling and world-building
  • Other Works: The Risen Empire (2003); Midnighters series (2004-2006); Uglies series (2005-2007); Behemoth (2010); Goliath (2011); Afterworld (2014); Imposters series (2018-2022)
  • Awards: Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel (2009); Goodreads Choice Award for Science Fiction (2009); Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book (2010)