Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer.
Publisher: Harcourt Books
Miranda and the world watch as a meteor strikes the moon, knocking it out of orbit and closer to the earth. The gravitational pull of the moon causes earthquakes and tidal waves, destroying cities and towns along coastlines. Volcanoes also erupt and spread clouds of ash that block the sun. Suddenly, humans are struggling to survive, desperately trying to learn if their family and friends are still alive. Life as We Knew It follows Miranda and her family as they try to navigate this new world. The family moves into one room of their home, rations their food, and prepares for the cold days ahead. When Miranda’s father and his pregnant new wife arrive, they are forced conserve further, adding stress to an already dire situation.
Truly a page-turner for readers, Life as We Knew It is an imaginative look at a bleak future. Miranda is a typical teenager, even in this stressful situation. She resents her mother asking her to eat just two meals a day while letting her younger brother, Jonny, eat three. She finds some chocolate chips in the pantry one day and finds herself stuffing them in her mouth by fistfuls until caught by her mother. This is a realistic survival story which Susan Beth Pfeffer thoroughly thought through on how humans might survive in such a situation and what would be most valuable. Although readers will wish for a positive conclusion, there isn't a happy ending in store for everyone.