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*Life as We Knew It* by Susan Beth Pfeffer- young adult fantasy book review


Life as We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Grades 6-8 352 pages Harcourt October 2006 Hardcover    

Miranda's not all that excited when she hears that a meteor is going to crash into the moon. Some of her teachers give homework assignments dealing with the predicted crash, and she and her family (along with the rest of the world) are going to be out watching the sky that night, but she doesn't think it's a big deal. Miranda has bigger issues to deal with, like her best friend's newfound religion, her pregnant stepmother, and her history grade. Life will go on...right?

Well, sort of. It turns out that the scientists who predicted the collision were a little off in their calculations. The moon is knocked closer to the earth, forever altering its climate.

Things get worse and worse. Miranda and her family run to the supermarkets, along with everyone else, filling up their carts over and over, just in case. School is temporarily closed. Tsunamis are hitting the coasts all around the world, huge walls of water killing thousands of people, and that's only the beginning of the destruction that will only get worse and worse before it gets better - if it gets better.

Miranda and her family are, before they know it, struggling just to survive. The world is in chaos (and the president is on vacation in Texas...remind you of anyone?). Everything Miranda took for granted is now much more precious than she could have imagined: gas, food, water, electricity, good medical care, school. Everything people have taken for granted (at least in America) is scarce. Every time they're sure it can only get better, it gets worse.

Yet life does, in its new way, go on. There's still time for romance, and family, and education. In fact, Miranda realizes like never before the value of these things. She still wants to fall in love, to ice skate, to see her father. Her little brother still wants to play baseball. Her mother is still dating. Life does go on, just not in the way they knew it before.

Life as We Knew It is Miranda's journal, her day-by-day account of the struggle to survive after the world is forever changed. I'll definitely be looking up more by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This is an amazing story, probably the best young adult book (or one of the best) of 2006. Life as We Knew It is a page-turner and a must-read.

This is a brilliantly written "what-if" story, filled with realistic characters. Because Miranda's life before the moon is knocked closer to earth is so much like all of our lives today, it is a scary, gripping read, seeming as if it could happen tomorrow. And who knows? It could.

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  Jocelyn Pearce/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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