SAVING THE EARTH - One Book at a Time.
Booklist Reviews 2006 August #2
/*Starred Review*/ A meteor is going to hit the moon, and 16-year-old Miranda, like the rest of her family and neighbors in rural Pennsylvania, intends to watch it from the comfort of a lawn chair in her yard. But the event is not the benign impact predicted. The moon is knocked closer to Earth, setting off a chain of horrific occurrences: tsunamis, earthquakes, and, later, volcanic eruptions that disrupt life across the planet. Written in the form of Miranda's diary, this disquieting and involving story depicts one family's struggle to survive in a world where food, warmth, and well-being disappear in the blink of an eye. As life goes from bad to worse, Miranda struggles to find a way to survive both mentally and physically, discovering strength in her family members and herself. This novel will inevitably be compared to Meg Rosoff's Printz Award Book, How I Live Now (2004). Pfeffer doesn't write with Rosoff's startling eloquence, and her setup is not as smooth (Why don't scientists predict the possibility of this outcome?). But Miranda and her family are much more familiar than Rosoff's characters, and readers will respond to the authenticity and immediacy of their plight. Each page is filled with events both wearying and terrifying and infused with honest emotions. Pfeffer brings cataclysmic tragedy very close. ((Reviewed September 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
In this taut survival story, an asteroid hits the moon, knocking it closer toward Earth, which results in cataclysmic natural disasters. Sixteen-year-old Miranda's journal entries provide a riveting account of how lack of information and resources, and, subsequently, loss of hope for the future shrink her world. Against mounting dismal conditions, her family's drawing together to find meaning in their altered lives is all the more triumphant. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #6
"It was still our moon and it was still just a big dead rock in the sky, but it wasn't benign anymore," sixteen-year-old Miranda writes in her journal after an asteroid hits the moon and knocks it closer toward Earth. The immediate result of this event is global devastation in the form of tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, and other cataclysmic natural disasters. But Pfeffer's taut survival story is effective not because it witnesses these catastrophes firsthand but because it doesn't. Miranda, her mother, and two brothers live in Pennsylvania, away from the coasts, where the initial number of casualties is rumored (all cable TV, Internet, and cell-phone service has been knocked out) to be almost unthinkable. Miranda's journal entries provide a riveting account of how lack of information, resources, and, subsequently, hope for the future shrink her world. "We're dying in increments," she tells her older brother as their stockpile of food and water diminishes and ash from distant erupting volcanoes blocks the sun, producing wintry temperatures in August. Against mounting dismal conditions, the family's drawing together to survive and find meaning in their altered lives is all the more triumphant and makes the eventual small signs that conditions will improve all the sweeter. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
PW Reviews 2006 October #3
When an asteroid collides with the moon, causing natural disastersâ€"tidal waves, volcanoes, earthquakes and climate changesâ€"on Earth, life as 16-year-old Miranda knows it will never be the same. Suddenly, things she has taken for grantedâ€"electricity, news from the outside world and three square meals a dayâ€"are a thing of the past. Thanks to her mother's foresight and preparedness, Miranda and her two brothers are better off than many families in their Pennsylvania community. They have a pantry filled with canned goods and plenty of logs to fuel their wood-burning stove. Yet their situation becomes more critical as other unexpected disasters arise. The book may be lengthy, but most readers will find it absorbing from first page to last. This survival tale by the author of The Year Without Michael celebrates the fortitude and resourcefulness of human beings during critical times. The story unfolds through Miranda's journal entries, from May, when the asteroid strikes, to the following March. Though the entries paint a grim picture of a rapidly shrinking civilization ("I write stuff down in here and I don't read it. Things are bad enough without having to remind myself of just how bad things are," she explains), her words also evoke a strain of hope which proves to be her most essential survival tool. Miranda's changing priorities, undying love for her family and heightened appreciation of simple pleasures will likely provoke discussion and inspire gratitude for life as we know it now. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)[Page 53]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.