Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Life As We Knew It

Life as you knew it is no more. When the moon is struck by an asteroid and knocked out of its orbit, chaos erupts on earth. Tides rise, drowning cities on the coast. Earthquakes happen in Missouri. Volcanoes erupt, filling the air with ash and blocking out the sun. Diseases spread, from cholera to influenza, and thousands of people die.

What would you do if this happened? In life as we knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer, we read Miranda's diary telling us what she and her family did. This is a nominee for the 2009 Caudill award and so far, it's my favorite of the group.

I've read criticism of the book, saying that the events aren't scientifically realistic, but it's a fiction book, not a scientific text. It does what all good books should do--make you think. Whether it's true or made up, a good story pulls you in and keeps you reading, and you won't be disappointed with this one.

This story makes you wonder, "What if?" What if something like this did happen (although for a different reason)? Would you be able to cope? Could you chop wood, nurse your brothers through the flu, live on canned vegetables? Would you be able to live not knowing what's happened to your dad, your grandmother, and your friends? life as we knew it will make you wonder.

[And if you already read it, check out the companion novel-the dead and the gone.]

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