Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Eric Walters
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
When the lights went out in Adam Daley’s high school it wasn’t an ordinary power failure. As time went on it became apparent that any machine or service that relied on a computer for operation no longer functioned. The local police department, the survivalist neighbor next door, and the ability of a teenage boy to pilot an ultralight plane are the foundation of a plan for the safety and survival of 1600 people living in the Eden Mills neighborhood. Using the Rule of Three: you can live without air for three minutes, without water for three days, and without food for three weeks, neighbors worked together to provide the essentials to survive. However, desperately hungry people, lawless mobs, and organized criminals threaten to destroy everything they have worked so hard to achieve.
This award winning author is a master storyteller who has written more than 80 books for the youth market. His adventure story will appeal to youth and adults of both genders. It contains the violence of war but there is no swearing, sex, or other objectionable materials so often found in YA books. It has humor and pathos as well as a little romance. Seen through the eyes of 16 year old Adam Daley, this ‘what if’ book illustrates what a group of people might do to survive crisis when there is no government agency to provide assistance. It seems unusual that Walters doesn’t rely on description to flesh out characters. Instead, the three main protagonists Adam, Herb, and Adam’s mother, start out as basic character sketches that fill in as the story progresses. This, the first book in The Rule of Three series, leaves the reader wanting to know more about what happens. It is a thought provoking, fast paced and exciting read.
*Contains war violence.