Monday, October 1, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Fiewel and Friends, 2012
Dean didn’t say goodbye to his mom that morning.  He watched is brother Alex, in eighth grade, get on his bus and he got on the one to high school in Monument, Colorado.  It was an ordinary day for Alex – avoid the popular kids in back and try to be invisible. 
But then the hail began….

It wasn’t ordinary hail, but huge crushing hail with stones and debris caught within the ice.  It tore up cars and cracked windshields.  Dean’s ride to school is now demolished outside the Greenway superstore.  Kids are dead, and the hail is causing more injuries. Their savior is the bus driver of Alex’s bus, getting the survivors and crashing into the Greenway.
But now, the safety gates are closed, shut down and impenetrable to the outside.  Inside are six high school students, two eighth graders and over a handful of elementary school kids.  The Network is down and there is no communication to the outside world.  First hail, then an earthquake…then the terrible news of a supertsunami…then the worst news of all…

On an old television, news has reached the Dean ,Alex and the others that NORAD’s chemical storage has leaked.  And it’s turning people into monsters, building on their rage to kill.  Other are affected different ways, and all the survivors in Greenway must do everything they can to contain the catastrophe happening on the outside. 
Most of all, they wonder if their parents are still alive…and just how many survivors are left in the world that has come undone. 
This is future survival fiction at its finest!  At first, I was thinking how easy it would be to survive in a superstore, but then everyone knows about cabin fever.  Emmy Laybourne does an excellent job of making sure the reader knows each and every one of the kids in this book and their experiences throughout this disastrous time, but it’s the situation that comes alive.  The reader gets to experience how teens and children work to hold it together with the absence of all adults in a world full of danger and crazy people trying to get in.  This book just works and works well.  Look for a sequel to this incredibly fast read that will take you to the edge of your seat!
Other great fiction read pairings: Susan Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It trilogy; Michael Northrop Trapped;  Lex Thomas Quarantine


Common Core pairing:  Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson
Based on the diaries of Isaac Monroe Cline and on contemporary accounts. Tells the story of Isaac Cline, a weather scientist in Galveston, Texas in 1900, discussing his belief and assertion that nothing in the way of weather could destroy the coastal city; and looks at how Cline dealt with the aftermath of the hurricane that hit Galveston on September 8, claiming the lives of thousands of people.

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