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  • December 2011
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We Call it Post-Apocalyptic

I’m not sure whats up with me.  Lately it seems like everything I’ve read, listened to or watched has had some sort of post disaster survival element.  The abundance of disasters in my media consumption has prompted some interesting conversations. For example, I don’t think I’d be the first to bite it in an eco disaster, or  WW-III, but I doubt I’d last long.  I do just fine in my current life, but if I had to depend on my knowledge of edible plants, or my ability to make a fire without matches I think I’d be sunk.   I’m also pretty sure I’d be bad at decapitating zombies.
Its no surprise writers use disasters as the setting for movies, TV and books. Disasters bring out the best and worst in people, they’re inherently dramatic and there’s usually a battle between good an evil.  The aftermath of disaster is such a compelling setting that we have a whole genre of teen fiction dedicated to it.  We call it Post Apocalyptic.  Take a look at a few of my favorite post disaster books or ask your librarian for suggestions.

A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter Miller
This one is an oldie but a goodie…it was old even when I read it way back in High School (yeah I know…).  Anyway, this is a true Post Apocalyptic story of civilization 600 years after a nearly world ending nuclear attack.  The story is told in three parts.  The first describes how the remains of civilization struggle through another dark age where anyone interested in learning or even able to read is considered a danger.  That’s followed by an age of  intellectual and political upheaval similar to our Renaissance.  Then finally once civilization has fully embraced education and learning again, the influences of humanity’s more sinister instincts put us back on the brink of world war.  This story is just really well written with all sorts of symbolism and reference to religion, and history.  I highly recommend this one.  It may be challenging but its worth the work
Life As We Knew It, Susan Beth Pfeffer

The setting of this Post Apocalyptic story will look much more familiar to many of you. Miranda, the narrator of this story describes day to day events in the journal entries that form Life As We Knew It.  She begins with the same concerns most of us have in High School, but her story quickly becomes a tale of survival after an asteroid hits the moon pushing it much closer to the earth.  This event sets off a series of natural disasters creating widespread famine and violence as food and clean water dwindle.  *If this story hits the mark check out Pfeffers follow up books The Dead and The Gone, and This World We Live In.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan
Zombies!  Sometime in the past, generations ago a plague of the undead swept through the land.  To cope whats left of humanity set up a strict set of rules governing society.  Meanwhile the undead stalk the forest.  All the important events in our narrator Mary’s life are directed by the Sisterhood.  They decide when she’ll be married and how her life will unfold.   But when the fence that protects her society from the undead is breached she and a few friends must venture out in search of safety.  Wherever Zombies go violence and gore are sure to follow so keep an eye out for some gruesome passages in this excellent novel and its sequels The Dead Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places.
If, like me, you get the feeling you could use a little brushing up on your skills after reading a few of these books check out some of the survival resources we also have at the library.

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