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Author: Shusterman, Neal
A lengthy California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, turning Alyssa's quiet suburban street into a warzone, and she is forced to make impossible choices if she and her brother are to survive.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 198982
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 24.0 Quiz: 76768
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/18)
School Library Journal (+) (10/01/18)
Booklist (+) (08/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/18)
The Hornbook (00/11/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2018 *Starred Review* Alyssa and her brother, Garrett, are normal kids in a suburb in Southern California—that is, until surrounding states shut the floodgates to the Colorado River due to prolonged drought. At first, people dismiss the news, but circumstances turn dire quickly when bottled water disappears off store shelves while the spigots remain dry. What ensues is a horrifyingly fast descent into barbarity as neighbor turns on neighbor, government intervention falls short, and society’s civil facade disintegrates. Alyssa and Garrett must travel to find new sources of water, all the while defending themselves against people crazed by thirst. While this book leans on siege-like tropes established in zombie movies, the Shustermans revivify the genre by adding an environmental twist. Using multiple points of view, the authors fully flesh out Alyssa, Garrett, and their travel companions to showcase the various ways people mentally approach calamities. The authors do not hold back—there is death, disease, manipulation, and chaos. None of it is presented simply, and none of it is sugarcoated. Lovers of horror action fiction will feel right at home with this terrifyingly realistic story of our tenuous relationship with the environment and of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of desperate situations. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2018 Gr 9 Up—The Tap-Out, the government's friendlier name for the drought, has been in effect for a while. The inability to water one's lawn or take a long shower was a nuisance until the water stopped permanently. With the fear of no water, people fight over bottles at Costco, they mug one another on the streets, and arm themselves for fear of break-ins. As her town becomes a war zone, Alyssa's parents set out to retrieve emergency water from the government—but when they don't return, Alyssa, her 10-year-old brother Garret, and their neighbor Kelton go to locate them, only to find dead bodies on the beach and no sign of her parents. They start heading to Kelton's family emergency bunker, slowly realizing their corner of California is becoming obsolete. Although this novel has an apocalyptic tone, the subject matter is timely and realistically possible. The Shustermans challenge readers to ponder what they would do in a similar crisis. While Alyssa remains positive and fights for survival, Kelton's doomsday prep mode kicks in, and he often tries solving problems with weapons. This survival tale is packed with themes and allegories that will attract fans of literary YA as well as readers seeking a good adventure. VERDICT A perfect choice for all collections.—Dawn Abron, Zion-Benton Public Library, IL - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.