Giselle Peng 10/27/11 Horner, 7th
Life As We Knew It
Life as We Knew It, a science fiction novel by Susan Pfeffer, is one of those books that you can’t seem to stop reading. It is an account of the world after the moon is knocked closer to the Earth by an asteroid, told through the eyes of a 16 year old girl, Miranda. Miranda’s family consists of her, her 12 year old brother Jonny, and her older brother Matt. Her parents are divorced, and her dad has remarried, with his wife pregnant. The book begins with the asteroid hit, and quickly dives into the direct aftermath of the asteroid. All over the world, volcanoes begin to erupt and pollute the atmosphere with ash, blocking out the sun like the asteroid that hit the Earth in the era of the dinosaurs. Extreme cold sets in, and crops are no longer able to grow. People begin to starve, while Miranda’s family has to cut down to survive. Meanwhile, death rates start to go up. A deadly flu outbreak sets in, just as everyone is on the brink of starving. Mom, Jonny, and Matt are all infected, leaving Miranda to care for them with only the little that she has and her own brain. Pfeffer’s tale weaves a story that you will become heavily invested in, while providing insight into the mind of a girl forced to make the ultimate sacrifices to save her family and herself. Looking at events through the eyes of an ordinary 16 year old, I was constantly surprised by the way that they managed to hang on. It is a touching depiction of the power of love and friendship under terrible circumstances. As Miranda tells her story with surprising honesty and candor, you will find yourself hoping that her family survives and beats the odds even as they do exactly that. Life as We Knew It provides a close look at human nature under desperate conditions and the means that people will go to in order to survive. This book will make you take a closer look at your life and learn to appreciate the little things that you have when you see how they can be taken in a split second. Life as We Knew It has won several prestigious awards, including the Best Books for Young Adults, 7th place in the Teens Top Ten Vote. It has been a finalist for the Quill Awards, the Andre Norton Award, and the Hal Clement Award. Life as We Knew It is the first book in the “Moon Crash Trilogy”, followed by its companion book, The Dead and the Gone, and the sequel to the first two, This World We Live In. Does Miranda’s family survive the apocalypse? Will she hear from her father about the baby? Read and find out!