Pete Hautman, Author, Jim Carroll, Illustrator . S&S $16 (192p) ISBN 978-0-689-83118-8

The prologue to Hautman's (Mr. Was) futuristic tale reads like an excerpt from The Hot Zone: "On November 2, 2028... an eighteen-year-old Ethiopian soccer player named Worku Roba complained of a mild headache.... Seventeen hours later, his ravaged lungs ceased to function, and Worku Roba was pronounced dead." As the story opens, a fatal influenza has killed off most of the earth's population, leaving behind the unexposed and the Survivors, who are now immune but suffer losses ranging from sensory impairment to being delusional. Four successive narrators include 16-year-old Ceej; his friend Tim; his spiritual Hopi girlfriend, Isabella; and his mute, Survivor sister, Harryette, all living "at the edge of the world" (near the Grand Canyon). The plot unfolds gradually: the few adults in their lives are being murdered by a cult of Survivors who believe it their God-given purpose to infect people with the flu, offering them up to the "Judgment of the Divine"; led by the charismatic Mother K (who hears voices), the cult offers a sense of wholeness to the damaged Survivors—and a lure for Harryette. Meanwhile, Isabella follows her unshakable belief in a Hopi portal that will lead her (and Ceej) to another, better world. The plot lines intertwine in a crafty climax that, like much of the novel, leaves it to readers to draw their own conclusions. Hautman's ability to tell a story while offering simultaneous interpretations should draw a strong response from teens. Ages 12-up. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/14/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-4165-8758-3
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4424-0815-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-9807-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 216 pages - 978-0-689-84428-7
Prebound-Other - 215 pages - 978-0-606-34548-4
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-4169-6822-1
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