Pfeffer’s Moon and Miranda’s Life

REVIEW of Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Life As We Knew It. Harcourt, 2006. 352 p. $17.99. 978-0-15205-826-5.

[VOYA codes:]  4Q  3P  J  S

Miranda, her family, and the whole town prepared for a thrill when they looked up to watch an asteroid collide with the Moon, but the impact proved to be appalling.  The Moon was so severely damaged that it became a gravitational menace in the sky, causing tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the decimation of entire islands, cities, seacoasts, and populations.

In her candid, heart-wrenching journal, Miranda’s entries intensify as life bears down and bleakens for her and her family.  They must fight storms, brutal cold, epidemics, and the threat of starvation in Pennsylvania.  In their minds, they must fight the growing stench of death.  For all they know, they might be the last survivors on Earth.

Despite taunting and haunting the reader, Life As We Knew It is also powerfully inspiring.  Readers are drawn into Miranda’s new life, and they learn about strength, determination, and hard-won victories amidst a constant battle for survival.  Despite the suffering – and some whining and yelling at times – there are huge swells of hope, sacrifice, romance, and exuberance along the way.  Readers can see themselves making life-or-death decisions and growing wildly creative and resilient alongside her.  Just as the Moon changes life for Miranda and all on Earth, this story will change the reader.

(Readers will also insist on devouring The Dead and the Gone [2008], which is the next of four titles in a series.)

Recommended for teens of all ages

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