Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A change to my top picks: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I know I've already posted my top ten, but this is a book I can't stop thinking about. I read it in two sittings (and I was sorely tempted to read it instead of getting some much-needed sleep) and the buzz on YALSA-BK and Adbooks has been huge.

Title: Life as we Knew It
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
ISBN: 0-15-205826-5

Starred review in:
Booklist and PW
Review: Miranda is as normal a teenage girl as anyone can get. Her divorced parents make an effort to get along (even though her dad's new wife is pregnant), her older brother is away at college, and her younger brother is a rising baseball star. She enjoys hanging out with her friends, swimming, skating, and obsessing over her favorite Olympic men's figure-skating hopeful. Everything in her life changes, however, when an asteroid hits the moon. In the days before the asteroid hits, no one seems too worried, because asteroids hit the moon all the time. When the force of the asteroid knocks the moon out of its orbit, however, disastrous climate changes occur. Massive tsunamis wipe out millions of coastal dwellers. Earthquakes occur in Missouri. Volcanic eruptions cause a nuclear winter. Miranda's concerns quickly go from whether the captain of the swim team likes her to her family's dwindling food supply. Told in diary format, this is a frightening look at a dystopian future no one can control. Through illness, starvation, death, and subzero temperatures Miranda tries to cling to normalcy.

This title would make an excellent group discussion book, as it covers so many subjects: environmentalism, family relations, love, and survival, just to start. It's a quick read, great for both the junior high and high school set, and tense from start to finish. If you don't already have this in your collection, please consider buying it. I believe it has a wide audience and the potential to win a lot of honors.

Carlie, BCCLS

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