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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors #2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

From Goodreads:
Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event--an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex's parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.
     With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful new novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

First of all...if you haven't read Life as We Knew It....READ IT.  This novel is a companion novel to Life as We Knew It.  After hearing the story through one point of view, we now hear it through another young man who is leaving in New York.  As we found out in Life as We Knew It, New York was the state hit the worst in terms of tidal waves, flooding, and other natural disasters.  Alex Morales is 17 years old.  

When an asteroid hit the moon and moved it closer to the earth he was about the last person to know.  His father was in Puerto Rico, his mother called into the hospital, his brother away in the marines, and his two younger sisters were home with him.  All of a sudden these life changing events make Alex the head of the family.  He's in charge of keeping his two younger sisters safe during these horrific times.  Alex makes decisions about his family that no 17 year old should have to do.  He finds food while doing things he isn't proud of, but it's the only way for him to keep his sisters alive.  Alex shows us the value of family, courage, and strength.  He makes us realize how important it is to accept your responsibilities when it's the only option you have left.  Without Alex, his sisters would have died.  He is put through so much, but in the end it is these struggles that help him make the right decisions for his slowly dying family. 

I found this book so powerful and I couldn't put it down!  It was a great companion novel to Life as We Knew It.  Seeing the point-of-view of another young teenager during this trying time for the world was an eye-opener.  It makes you realize that no matter what you are going through there is probably someone who has it worse and is pulling through in their own way.

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