Booktalk: Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The story of Life as We Knew It is both thought-provoking and chilling.  It’s especially chilling because, unlike scenarios in books like The Hunger Games in which many changes would need to happen over many years for that future to occur, in this scenario just one thing would need to happen.  A meteor would have to hit the moon hard enough to change its orbit.  This would be an excellent suggestion for readers looking for tales of more dystopian futures, as well as a suggestion for readers who don’t think they like science fiction.  You can go to Pfeffer’s website or this site about the “Life as We Knew It” trilogy to find out how much the world changes in this imaginary future.


Everyone was excited when they heard that a meteor was going to hit the moon.  Of course, the moon had been hit by meteors many times before, but THIS time it was going to be different.  This was going to be something so big that people would be able to see with the naked eye, and it promised to be spectacular.  The night of the meteor, it seemed like everyone in the neighborhood was outside, staring up at the sky and waiting.  The people with telescopes saw the meteor first, but soon enough everyone could see it.  They all saw when it hit the moon.  It was amazing and spectacular, like something out of a movie.  But as Miranda and her family watched, this amazing thing quickly turned frightening.  Because something was wrong with the moon.  It shifted in the sky somehow.  The moon looked too large, or maybe too close.  Nobody knew exactly what this meant, but they went to bed feeling confused and scared.  It wasn’t until the next morning that Miranda and her family got the first clues of just how lucky they were.  Coastal areas all over the world had been wiped out overnight by tsunami waves.  The change in gravity also caused volcanoes all over the world to erupt, killing even more people, and throwing up enough ash and smoke to block out the sun.  And no more sun meant no more plants and no more food.  The entire planet had changed.

Miranda used to have a life filled with simple choices.  But as the days turn into weeks and months, her choices are going to be a lot different.  If she has extra food, should she share it or keep it for herself?  Is it safe to leave the house?  Is it safe to trust other people?  And just how badly does she want to survive?

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