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Life As We Knew It
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About the Author

Susan Beth Pfeffer is the author of many books for teens, including the New York Times best-selling novel Life As We Knew It, which was nominated for several state awards, and its companion books, The Dead and the Gone, This World We Live In, and The Shade of the Moon. She lives in Middletown, New York.

Reviews

Bauer proves the perfect choice as narrator for this excellent coming-of-age novel. Miranda is a normal 16-year-old girl whose main concerns in life are schoolwork, swim meets and whether or not she will be asked to the prom. But Miranda's world is literally ripped apart when an asteroid hits the moon, shifts it from its orbit and throws the earth into chaos. Millions die due to tsunamis and earthquakes. Millions more perish because of an early, devastatingly cold winter, brought about by ash thrown into the atmosphere by hundreds of volcanic eruptions. The story, told through a series of entries in Miranda's journal, chronicles the heroine's and her family's efforts to survive in a world where staying warm and having enough to eat and drink becomes the day-to-day priority. Bauer skillfully captures Miranda's adolescent angst with all its emotional highs and lows. By keeping the narration completely in Miranda's voice, using only slight differences in inflection to denote other characters, Bauer manages to convey the sense of Miranda herself reading her most intimate thoughts to listeners. It is a fine performance that only enhances Pfeffer's thoughtful, heart-wrenching novel. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Gr 6-8-Pfeffer tones down the terror, but otherwise crafts a frighteningly plausible account of the local effects of a near-future worldwide catastrophe. The prospect of an asteroid hitting the Moon is just a mildly interesting news item to Pennsylvania teenager Miranda, for whom a date for the prom and the personality changes in her born-again friend, Megan, are more immediate concerns. Her priorities undergo a radical change, however, when that collision shifts the Moon into a closer orbit, causing violent earthquakes, massive tsunamis, millions of deaths, and an upsurge in volcanism. Thanks to frantic preparations by her quick-thinking mother, Miranda's family is in better shape than many as utilities and public services break down in stages, wild storms bring extremes of temperature, and outbreaks of disease turn the hospital into a dead zone. In Miranda's day-by-day journal entries, however, Pfeffer keeps nearly all of the death and explicit violence offstage, focusing instead on the stresses of spending months huddled in increasingly confined quarters, watching supplies dwindle, and wondering whether there will be any future to make the effort worthwhile. The author provides a glimmer of hope at the end, but readers will still be left stunned and thoughtful.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

An ALA Best Book for Young AdultsA 2011 ALA Popular Paperbacks TitleA CCBC ChoiceA Junior Library Guild Premier SelectionA Listening Library SelectionAn Amazon.com Best Book of the Year* Absorbing from first page to last.--Publishers Weekly, starred review

Riveting and deeply frightening.--The Bulletin
You will read it in one sitting, fighting back tears as you bite your nails.--Teenreads.com

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