Name of Book: Life As We Knew It
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Audience: Ages 12 and up
Summary: This is a realistic fiction work about the aftermath of an asteroid hitting our moon and one family’s struggle to survive.
Literary elements at work in the story: This is a story about survival, self-discovery, and growing up. After an asteroid hits our moon the whole world goes crazy. Tidal waves, tsunamis, and other natural disasters are all in the distant news, but for this family their struggle for survival centers on food. When all the big cities begin to crumble, this family must stick together and learn to trust each other like never before. The setting centers on their house and the struggles they face there. The main character, Miranda, has to grow up quicker than she wants to. The book is from her point of view and the reader is drawn into the fears, doubts, frustration, and joys she has while experiencing the end of the world.
(How) does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story? Miranda is a hero of sorts. After her brother is injured, it is up to her to keep the family together. At times she does not believe the end of the world has actually occurred, and continues to worry about normal things a girl her age would. She is forced to grow up, face reality, and be a support for her family in the most dire of circumstances.
Theological conversation partners: Revelation 21:1-4: This passage of scripture is full of hope. It gives the reader assurance that God has the last word, even when all we can see is destruction. The family in this story has their ups and downs, but they learn to rely on each other and have faith that one day things will be better. For all those facing disaster, or situations that just feel like the world is actually ending, this verse points to the one who will wipe away all tears and ends death forever. Glory Hallelujah!
Faith Talk Questions :
1. What would you do if an asteroid hit our moon?
2. How would your family cope with the aftermath?
3. Have you ever felt like you are not capable of doing something? Explain
4. How can a family support each other when they are going through hard times?
5. What can we learn from Miranda’s attitude?
6. How is her mother’s love like God’s love to us?
7. Where would you find God in a situation like this?
This review was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Russ Pearson.
Filed under: Book Reviews, Books written for Grades 5-8 (Ages 10 -13), Books written for Grades 9 - 12 (Ages 14-17), Faith Questions For...., High School Students, Middle Schoolers, Realistic Fiction Tagged: | end of world, Faith, family, growing up