Tuesday, May 27


Todd Strasser

My rating: ★★★★★

ISBN: 9780763655341
Publisher: Candlewick
Date of publication: September 10, 2013
Age: Grades 5 and up
Genre: Historical Fiction

Themes: Post-WWII, nuclear attack, bomb shelter, community

Awards: 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults (YALSA)

It’s the summer of 1962, and Scott’s dad has built the family a bomb shelter, stocked with the supplies necessary to keep the family alive for two weeks. One night, the siren goes off and the family rushes to protect themselves—but so do the neighbors who didn't build their own shelter. His dad must wrestle the door shut before the flash appears. Flipping between life in the shelter and Scott's summer before the bomb fell, this book gives an answer to the question, “What if?”

This. This book was fantastic. Now, I know I’m biased because my whole college life was focused on Postwar America and the culture of the bomb…but still. In fact, I think it makes me a more authoritative critic. It is well written and puts you through the emotions of what it could have been like if a bomb had actually been dropped. Partially based on the author’s own childhood, there’s strong plausibility in the story and all the characters. It was so well done! Bravo.

Now, just so you know, this is told through the eyes of a pre-pubescent boy and all that goes along with that. Especially as he faces life underground with the girl he likes. And other women. And his hormonal best friend. I probably wouldn't give it to your innocent 11-year-old girl. But that’s up to you, because you’ll read it first, right?

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