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Julie L. Casey

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How I Became a Teenage Survivalist
by Julie L. Casey   

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Books by Julie L. Casey
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Young Adult/Teen

Publisher:  Pants On Fire Press Type: 

Copyright:  May 20th, 2013 ISBN-13:  9780982727119

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Price: $4.99 (eBook)
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How I Became a Teenage Survivalist
How I Became a Teenage Survivalist

The world is hit with a solar superstorm, and 15-year-old Bracken and his family must figure out how to survive without electricity.

Bracken is a typical teenage boy, more interested in the angles of the girl’s exposed back teasing him from the seat ahead of him than in anything the geometry teacher could present. His life is filled with school, video games, and thoughts of girls, not necessarily (or probably not) in that order. Life just flows along uneventfully and unacknowledged, like the electricity that courses through the power lines — until PF Day. 

On PF (Power Failure) Day, the sun strikes Bracken’s world with an unseen surge of electromagnetic fury, which cripples power stations and burns transformers to crispy nuggets of regret. No one in Bracken’s world had ever thought about how much they depended on electrical power but now, without it, they are plunged into survival mode. Without electricity there is no communication, no modern conveniences and soon, no modern means of transportation, as the reserves of refined gasoline run dry. Worse still is the failure of the water and sewer systems, the impossibility of getting food and supplies to people living in cities, and the deaths of millions of people from starvation, disease, and lack of medical care. 

Bracken soon realizes how lucky he is to live on a farm in the Midwest. What seemed like a dull and backwards life before is now the greatest chance for survival in what seems like a powerless world. Food, water, and heat are readily available, although hard work is required to make use of them. Bracken and his family must learn to survive like their ancestors, who settled their land.


Professional Reviews

ABNA Expert Reviewer
Bracken is a most appealing narrator. The author has provided great insights into his character--his teenaged boy's reaction to Silky's short sweater, his resentment of his brother Alex--and leavens the seriousness of his predicament with a bit of humor.
I particularly like that the author set this story on a Midwest farm. Post-apocalyptic cities have been done to death and IMO, a rural community has much more story potential in the circumstances than endless garbage piling up on city streets.
Sometimes this type of story can get tedious and depressing, but this author seems to have given Bracken a lightness of tone that promises a fresh and down to earth perspective on appalling circumstances.
This is a very good beginning to a post-apocalyptic tale. The hero/narrator has a fresh, appealing voice, and the author allows the reader to discover the parameters of his predicament along with him. This reader looks forward to his further experiences.

ABNA Expert Reviewer
The strongest part of this excerpt are the interesting twists on a semi-familiar "doomsday" scenario. It also helps that the main character is dynamic and can carry the story from the beginning.
Overall this is a very interesting twist on the "doomsday" scenario. There are dynamic characters and the writing is very successful in sounding like a teenage boy. It is a story that pulls you in and makes you want to read more.

ABNA Publishers Weekly Reviewer
In November 2012, the Midwest is hit with a solar superstorm, and 15-year-old Bracken and his family must figure out how to survive without electricity. “There are no phones, no TV, no video games, no lights to read by at night, not to mention no refrigeration, no microwave, and no cars after the gas ran out.” The story builds and is engrossing, and the situations are realistic. ... The appeal of this story is its simplicity and pacing.

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