Monday, December 9, 2013
Marvelous MG Monday book review: Fallout by Todd Strasser
In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will -- and won’t -- remain when the door is opened again. Internationally best-selling author Todd Strasser has written his most impressive and personal novel to date, ruthlessly yet sensitively exploring the terrifying what-ifs of one of the most explosive moments in human history.
Fallout is very different from Strasser's Thrillogy novels, which is what I'd read before from this author. I was impressed by how he was able to bring the 1960s time period to life in a way that made me forget this happened more than fifty years ago. The writing has that same thriller feel as his other work, and the characters ring very true.
I recommend Fallout as a classroom read to jump start conversation about the Cuban Missile Crisis, and what might have been.
How I found out about this book:
I can't even remember where (Publishers Weekly maybe?), but I read an online interview with the author that had me intrigued. I'm a fan of Todd Strasser's other YA novels, so this quickly made its way onto my book list.
Fallout is designated by the publisher for ages ten-and-up, so this is definitely an older MG read. I would argue it would fit best in the younger YA category.
For more MMGM reviews, visit Shannon Messenger's blog!