Originally posted on my blog, A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Todd Strasser's Fallout is told from the point-of-view of 11-year-old Scott, giving insight into the same fears held by generations of Cold War children.
I couldn't help but think of my own parents telling me about the "duck and cover" drills they went through during their school years. Readers are privy to the rabbit trails that take place in Scott's mind as he considers: Could we really be bombed? What would happen, exactly? What if I'm not with my family? How will we survive? What if...?
Geared for ages 10 and up, the events and the emotions involved in Fallout are vividly brought to life in an age-appropriate way. Readers encounter a rich vocabulary and a healthy dose of history, handled in a way kids will find (if they recognize it at all) entertaining. This can be a difficult balance to achieve, but it seems to come about naturally in Strasser's writing.
From beginning to end, I was absolutely riveted by Fallout and read it pretty much straight through. This is a thrilling middle-grade novel that brings up endless points for discussion, whether learning more about the Cuban Missile Crisis or addressing the ethical questions that arise in the storyline.The book's website
contains a number of resources for use in educational settings and reading groups, so teachers/parents, be sure to check that out.I received a copy of this book from the publisher after winning a prize during Armchair BEA. A review was not requested or expected; I did not receive any compensation for this honest review.