Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (2006)

But the moon wasn’t a half moon anymore. It was tilted and wrong and a three-quarter moon and it got larger, way larger, large like a moon rising on the horizon, only it wasn’t rising. It was smack in the middle of the sky, way too big, way too visible. You could see details on the craters even without the binoculars that before I’d seen with Matt’s telescope (p 19).

life-as-we-knew-itAt the end of her sophomore year, Miranda is a typical teen with concerns about finding a date, crushing after a celebrity ice skater, and navigating her family conflicts. Then a meteor hits the moon, pushing it closer to the Earth and changing the world forever. With the added gravitation pull, tsunami’s wash away coastlines, earthquakes break the crust, and finally volcanoes explode, burying cities and filling the sky with ash.

Thanks to her mother’s quick and thoughtful planning, Miranda’s family has enough food and water to make it though the winter, if rationed. But with sunlight blocked by ash, how will anyone get any food come spring?

This is an intense survival story. While Miranda isn’t the most sympathetic character at first, she grows into her role, eventually saving her entire family. Her voice is authentic and the interactions between the family members are believable, effected by their malnutrition, isolation from society and lack of privacy from each other.

Library copy | Harcourt, Inc. | ISBN 978-0152061548 | Ages 12 and up | $6.95

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