Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It is by Susan Pfeffer (Graphia, 2008). I read this book for our mother/daughter book group, and even though geared for 6-8th grade, it is a spectacular book based on how Miranda, a high school sophomore, and her family cope with the extreme changes that occur in her home town when the moon is hit by a meteor and is bumped closer to the earth.

With 2012 coming up, and all the movies and books based on the end of our life as we know it, this book was serious and touching, unflinchingly exploring the food and energy shortages that occurred, the erratic weather that collapsed businesses and homes all over the country, the stockpiling, rationing and breakdowns in communication and how Miranda and her family dealt with their difficult situation.

The eerie thing is that it is not unrealistic, and I couldn’t put it down.  Since I read the book it has provoked serious thought into what we would do as a family if a catastrophe like this occurred.  I liked the transformation in Miranda from a self-centered girl to a selfless woman. I also liked how without electronics the family began to relate to each other again.

This is the first book in the Last Survivor’s Trilogy — this book takes place in Pennsylvania and the second, The Dead and the Gone,  in NYC.  In the third book, This World We Live In, we’re back in Pennsylvania with the main characters from the second book connecting with Miranda and her family. A definite must-read!

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2 comments to Life As We Knew It

  • Kathy Meneghin

    I read this book last year too, and also was unable to put it down. I also felt that the progressive collapse of society part was realistic, and could be provoked by global climate change… I have been thinking about teaching a science class based on literature, science fiction and novels, and I am definitely adding this one to my list. However, I did not know that there were 2 more books, so I will look for those! I also am fascinated by the survival theme, as in the pioneers, and preparing for our uncertain future. I am very anxious to “get off the grid,” because there is something inside me that believes that one day we will need to rely on ourselves again…

  • elizabeth

    That’s funny — as I was driving down to get organic chicken feed from my coop today, my neighbor was talking about the same thing, and while she didn’t want to focus on the gloom and doom, we talked about how as a culture we have lost some of the skills that we need to take care of ourselves. In particular, to stock a pantry, and to have even a small store of food that we could rely on if we had no power (freezer melt downs) for a week. That’s not something out of the ordinary even today, that power could go out for a week. How would we all fare? A long time ago, a good home pantry could sustain the family for a while . . .Sounds like a really cool class!

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