The Dead and the Gone

Susan Beth Pfeffer, Author . Harcourt $17 (321p) ISBN 978-0-15-206311-5

As riveting as Life as We Knew It and even grittier, this companion novel returns to the premise of that previous book to show how New York City responds to the global disasters that ensue when an asteroid knocks the moon out of orbit. This time Pfeffer focuses on high school junior Alex Morales, whose parents go missing after the catastrophe. It's up to him to find a way to keep himself and his two younger sisters alive while the planet is rocked by famine, floods, freezing temperatures and widespread disease. Once again Pfeffer creates tension not only through her protagonist's day-to-day struggles but also through chilling moral dilemmas: whether to rob the dead, who to save during a food riot, how long to preserve the hope that his parents might return. She depicts death and destruction more graphically than before, making the horror of Alex's ordeal all the more real. Religion also plays a larger role. A devout Catholic, Alex finds his faith in God shaken, but he relies on the guidance, compassion and sacrifice of church leaders in order to stay alive. The powerful images and wrenching tragedies will haunt readers. Ages 12–up. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/19/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Glued - 321 pages - 978-0-606-14464-3
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-6367-6
Compact Disc - 7 pages - 978-0-7393-6366-9
Paperback - 321 pages - 978-0-547-25855-3
Hardcover - 301 pages - 978-1-4071-0622-9
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-547-42226-8
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