Jeff Hirsch graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with an MFA in dramatic writing, and is the USA TODAY bestselling author of THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE and MAGISTERIUM. He lives in Beacon, New York, with his wife. Visit him online at www.jeff-hirsch.com.
Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his father travel the desolate, depopulated, and despoiled landscape of what was once the United States. Ravaged by war and an enhanced form of influenza-labeled the Eleventh Plague-two-thirds of the populace are dead. Stephen and his father exist as scavengers, traversing the ruined, hostile countryside searching for anything to help keep them alive. When Stephen's father is injured and falls into a coma, the duo is rescued by the inhabitants of Settler's Landing, a town that seems to have escaped the ravages of war and plague. But Stephen soon learns that even the most idyllic of places can harbor darkness, hatred, and danger. Dan Bittner skillfully narrates this postapocalyptic YA novel. His reading conveys the adolescent angst and confusion of the novel's protagonist a believable way, enabling listeners to understand Stephen's often-misguided actions. The voices Bittner creates are unadorned and uncomplicated, while his delivery of dialogue is natural and straightforward. An entertaining listen for young adults-and the not so young. A Scholastic hardcover. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 7-10-As a result of a war with China and the P-11 Plague, there are very few people left in America. Stephen, 15, wanders with his grandfather and father, looking for salvage in order to survive. When his grandfather dies and his father is badly injured, Stephen must begin to think for himself for the first time in his life. Stumbling upon Settler's Landing, a community of families with houses, a school, and baseball, Stephen is both awed and suspicious. Can he trust these people? Reminiscent at times of Cormac McCarthy's The Road (Knopf, 2006), Jeff Hirsch's debut novel (Scholastic, 2011) is initially dark in its portrayal of a survivalist society where it's every man for himself. In Settler's Landing, Stephen finds friends for the first time and is drawn to Jenny, a free spirit loner. When he and Jenny carry out a prank that goes horribly wrong, the action becomes non-stop as Stephen is thrust into making decisions on his own. Narrator Dan Bittner offers a fine first-person narration, perfectly capturing Stephen's ingrained inability to show or feel emotion and his metamorphosis into a caring person. Great for students who enjoyed Ilsa Bick's Ashes (EgmontUSA, 2011; Brilliance Audio, 2011), but would prefer a stand-alone novel with a hopeful, satisfying ending.-Julie Paladino, East Chapel Hill High School, NC (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Praise for THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE
"THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE hits disturbingly close to home, vividly depicting a world that has nose-dived into a futuristic nightmare. . . . An excellent, taut debut novel." --Suzanne Collins, author of THE HUNGER GAMES " A gripping survival drama." --USA TODAY "Sure to be a hit among fans of dystopias." --BOOKLIST "An impressive story with strong characters." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY