Fallout
by Strasser, Todd






When an unthinkable nuclear attack occurs in an alternate-reality 1962, Scott is forced into his father's bomb shelter with his family and neighbors, where they rapidly consume limited supplies and fear the worst about the fate of the world outside.





Todd Strasser is the author of more than 140 novels for children and teens, most notably The Wave, which is taught in classrooms around the world. He lives in New York.





Inspired by the summer of 1962 when his family built a bomb shelter, Strasser's alternate-history novel about the Cuban missile crisis is a suspenseful, quietly emotional account of the unthinkable: nuclear war. Eleven-year-old Scott is the only kid on the block with a bomb shelter. Though the neighborhood kids tease, while their parents act disdainful, when the sirens sound, they mob the shelter and force their way in. After a furious struggle, during which Scott's mother is seriously injured, the shelter is sealed with 10 people inside, 6 more than planned for and with many more left outside. As time passes and the supplies dwindle, grief, guilt, and fear turn the relationships among the adults ugly, even sparking talks of who should be put out. Strasser nicely contrasts this oppressive life, where Scott becomes aware of adult conflicts, with his innocence during the weeks leading up to the bomb. The titular fallout isn't just the environmental aftermath of the nuclear bomb but the survivors' emotional devastation, believably filtered through Scott's sensitive but well-rendered child's perspective. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.





Strasser once again combines terrific suspense with thoughtful depth when the bombs really do fall in this alternate-history Cuban missile crisis thriller. Eleven-year-old Scott's family becomes the laughingstock of their neighborhood when, worried about possible nuclear attack, they build a bomb shelter. However, when the Civil Defense siren sounds, sending them to the shelter, they can't keep their neighbors out, even though they have enough food for only their own family. In chapters that alternate between their time in the shelter and the weeks leading up to the attack, the story reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the characters. Scott and his friend Ronnie, the rather nasty neighborhood smartass, continue their friendly rivalry in the shelter, while their parents reveal much about their own personalities. The book examines racism; when Scott's mother becomes so seriously injured that it seems she will not survive, their neighbor wants to put both her and the family's black maid out of the shelter to die. The author peppers the narrative with tidbits from the early '60s, such as Tang, MAD magazine and talk of "Ruskies," "Commies" and duck-and-cover school drills. Scott's believably childlike narration recounts events and adults' reactions to them as he understands them. This riveting examination of things important to a boy suddenly thrust into an adult catastrophe is un-put-down-able. (Thriller. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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