Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Life As We Knew It

by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Miranda, a 16-year-old girl in Pennsylvania, writes in her diary about her frustrations with her mom, her fixation on a handsome Olympic figure skater, her friends at school, and the upcoming astronomical event her teachers are encouraging the kids to watch: an asteroid will hit the moon, and should be visible from Earth. Miranda and her family watch that night, with others on their street, as the moon is not only hit but pushed into a new orbit. Cheers turn to screams as the moon grows disarmingly large in the sky. Before anyone has time to think about the implications, power starts to go out. Familiar sources of information are no longer available, as the major television stations go off the air. News trickles into town that massive tsunamis have killed millions living in coastal areas around the world. And that's just the beginning. Pfeffer keeps the story focused on Miranda's world, as it grows smaller and less certain. It's a terrifying and hopeful tale, wonderfully detailed and human, one of the most riveting books I've read in a while.

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