Saturday, December 21, 2019

MG End-of-the-World-Maybe Novel Is a Fun, Upbeat Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Elle Dross has been practicing for the Apocalypse for years thanks to her prepper grandfather.  She doesn't really believe in its inevitably, though, until she learns that a discredited Harvard professor is predicting that an asteroid will hit Earth in April.  It's possible the guy isn't totally legit, but what if he's right?  What if Grandpa Joe is right?  As scary as the end of the world could be, Elle knows her family would survive just fine.  So would her BFF Mack.  He might be blind, but he's run enough drills with her grandpa to know what to do.  Bonus:  Elle won't lose him to the blind school he plans to transfer to next year.  As for the rest of their middle school, their classmates, and all their drama?  The asteroid can blow it all to smithereens for all Elle cares.

Except.  Maybe it's her duty, as one of the few who believe in the prediction, to warn the people around her.  Before she knows it, she's running a secret doomsday club and printing an underground newsletter. Elle and her friends are prepared for anything—or are they?  As life changes around them, they all have to figure out how to deal with impending life shake-ups.  And some of those can be even more frightening than an asteroid hurtling towards Earth ...

Despite its rather dark premise, The World Ends in April by Stacy McAnulty is an upbeat, funny story that's mostly about friendship.  The characters are likable and relatable; it's easy to care about their problems and their fates.  Middle schoolers will relate to the theme of change, both in its inevitability and in its sometimes frightening nature.  Even though I'm not the book's target audience, I still really enjoyed this sweet, fun novel.  I especially appreciated the endnotes McAnulty includes, which give real, practical advice on emergency preparation as well as warning kids about how to find reliable information sources.

(Readalikes:  Um, nothing is coming to mind.  You?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for scary situations/ideas

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

2 comments:

  1. My mind went directly to Willy Wonka, when I heard his name was Grandpa Joe, but I digress. Preppers are an interesting breed. I don't think I have even met one before. That's an interesting springboard for a story about friendship.

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  2. This sounds like an odd mixture of something that could be really depressing with a fun attitude. Perfect for middle schoolers.

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