Head over to Green Bean Teen Queen for an interview with yours truly about what ten books would make me cry should children lose them. Thanks, Sarah! It's just in time to help me convince all of my new 6th graders that I really am FAMOUS!
Pfeffer, Susan Beth. The Shade of the Moon
13 August 2013, Harcourt Children's Books
ARC from Baker and Taylor
Just four years after the moon is knocked out of alignment and death and despair settle over the earth, Jon is doing okay in Sexton, a protected enclave. He is an excellent soccer player, so his "job" is to play soccer. He's not really a "claver"-- someone who has a skill needed for survival in the current condition, like doctors and botanists; he is a "slip". He's only in the enclave because Julie's brother, Alex, had a pass, and Julie died. Jon's mother, Alex, and Jon's sister Miranda all live in the "grub" town of White Birch. They have jobs like teaching, driving a bus, and working in the greenhouse. Jon lives with Lisa and his stepbrother Gabe. Lisa places domestic workers in claver families. Jon meets Sarah, whose father runs a medical clinic in White Birch, and starts to question the more comfortable world in which he lives. When Miranda becomes pregnant (something rare since the problems began), everyone's comfortable world falls apart, and Jon must go on the lam.
Strengths: I love this series, but I always read the books when horrible weather is predicted. I can't tell you the number of times this has resulted in me overstocking the basement with peanut butter! The best part of this was seeing how quickly people accept "grubs" as a lower class and think that they are worthy of special treatment.
Weaknesses: This one is more YA. There is discussion of rape, and of the use of grubber girls by claver boys; one scene depicts a boy cutting a bar of soap into four pieces even though he could "get" a girl for an eighth of a bar. Certainly realistic, but not conversations I want to have with middle school students. There are also several violent deaths. Very good, just a bit beyond middle school at this point.