Three teenagers attempt to survive on their own when a devastating plague sweeps London.
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Grade 7-9-- Fran, 16, returns from four weeks on a wilderness survival trip to a city eerily quiet and the residents gone--either hiding in fear, or dead from a mysterious illness. Although the area has been sealed off to prevent the disease from spreading, Fran finds a way home, only to discover that the plague has arrived before her. Her story alternates with that of classmate Shahid, an outsider by virtue of his race. The third member of the triumvirate is Fran's best friend, Harry, whose natural impulsiveness has been exacerbated to near-insanity. The three set out to find Shahid's brother on the north side of London. As Harry becomes more unstable and Shahid becomes ill, it is left to Fran to save them. Both the physical struggle to survive, and the character development that supports and results from it, are clearly and accurately depicted. Plot development is sure-footed, and dialogue is realistic. Ultimately, there is a note of hope, and even moments of humor. What is not funny is the typical infuriating attempt to translate Briticisms into American English; it's inconsistent, insulting, and awkward. In one case, in calling a cooker the "stove," term and technology do not agree, and only serve to highlight the absurdity of this practice. Otherwise, this is a solid addition to teen fiction collections, and a discussion starter about survival morality or political responsibility. --Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria Public Library, B.C., Canada
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fran returns from a month at camp to find her family, and nearly everyone else in London, dead of a mysterious disease. The city is walled off, streets are deserted, and there's nothing on radio or TV except bland warnings and old movies. Fran finds her best friend Harry still alive, and also Shahid, a formerly remote classmate; the three strike off across town, but Harry, fretful and irresponsible, soon runs off, while Shahid falls ill. Unlike John Christopher's Empty World, which has a similar premise, this focuses more on character than on plot; switching between narrative and diary entries, Ure explores Fran's inner turmoil as she reluctantly changes from dreamy homebody to leader, and Shahid's as he loses some of his adolescent arrogance. Was the plague released deliberately, or accidentally? Neither the characters here nor readers ever find out. After several weeks, Shahid recovers and the two leave London, not knowing how far the devastation has spread. The loose ends make the story all the more chilling. (Fiction. 12-15) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J), 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110152624295
Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J). Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0152624295 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.3025895
Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J), 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0152624295