Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

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Suzanne Weyn
Fiction
For ages 12 and up
Scholastic Press, 2010   ISBN: 978-0545172783

It is the distant future in America, and three teens who go to same school have discovered that life as they know it is going to change. Radically. Supplies of gasoline are drying up, and quite suddenly everyone is scrambling to try to find enough gasoline for their cars. The shelves in stores begin to empty because trucking companies cannot afford to run their vehicles. Power, natural gas, and oil fuel become so expensive that many people cannot afford to pay their utility bills. Even products containing oil-based chemicals – like nail polish and paint – have become terribly expensive.

In a remarkably short period of time Nikki, Tom, and Gwen find themselves worrying about war and the potential end of the world. If only they could go back to worrying about homework, dates, and summer jobs instead. There is no turning back though. Now they need to look forward, and try to figure out how they are going to survive this catastrophe. Then a super hurricane starts brewing in the Caribbean. Fueled by global warming, the hurricane threatens to make a terrible situation much much worse. How do you run from a hurricane when there is no gasoline in the tank of your car? How do you run generators and water pumps when there is no oil to put into them? How do you survive when a hurricane causes widespread flooding, destruction of property, and loss of life?

This well written and exciting story is told from the point of view of the three teenager characters, all of whom have their own issues and worries. Gwen has to deal with the fact that her mother ran away. Tom’s father died not long ago and he is still grieving. Nikki, well, Nikki is trying to maintain her diva lifestyle in the middle of an environmental disaster. It is interesting to see how each of the teens change as their world starts to crumble around them. The situations that the characters find themselves in will encourage readers to consider what they would do if their world started to fall apart at the seams.

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