Wasteland (Wasteland Trilogy)
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About the Author

Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan cowrote the graphic novels City of Spies and Brain Camp. Susan is also a five-time Emmy nominee for her work in children's television and a Writers Guild Award winner for best documentary. She wrote the stage adaptation of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, teaches writing at Goddard College, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post. When Susan was little, her family spent a lot of time on the road. Susan enjoyed it, but it made her anxious. In Wanderers, Susan explores her worst fears about being far from home and having to rely on people you don't even know, much less trust.Laurence has also written the novels The Cutting Room, The Shooting Script, and the Edgar Award-winning Mrs. White and a short-story collection. He received two Drama Desk nominations for the book and lyrics to Bed and Sofa, a musical produced by New York's Vineyard Theatre. Laurence likes being in new places but finds the actual traveling to be challenging and even frightening. Will the plane crash? Does the car have enough gas? Esther and her friends are on their way to being grown up—age nineteen. The idea in Wanderers was to portray their journey and make it just as dangerous, thrilling, and fun as being there.

Reviews

Kim and Klavan's world building enticingly trickles through the brutal, fast-paced, multilayered plot, which is fueled by a sweet romance...and plenty of mysteries. Wasteland raises plenty of captivating questions and doesn't shortchange readers on satisfying answers. -- Booklist

Gr 10 Up-In the bleak, desolate town of Prin, you get partnered at 14, are considered an elder at 17, and die at 19. Resources are scarce, and disease, especially from rainwater, is rampant. Esther, 15, doesn't fit in, and doesn't care; she hasn't partnered and consistently avoids doing the menial jobs that everyone is assigned, such as digging or searching for gasoline in abandoned cars. Her older sister, Sarah, provides for them by earning the meager food rations that her childhood friend (and now powerful leader) Levi gives people for completing their jobs. Meanwhile, the variants, tattoo and scar-covered, hermaphroditic misfits who live outside of town, are staging increasingly violent assaults against the townspeople. When newcomer Caleb, 16, appears and is able to thwart one of the attacks, the inhabitants of Prin believe he may be the key to stopping the violence. But Caleb himself is not sure, and has his own agenda. There is no subtlety here; the authors make clues about what is to come next all too obvious, and the omniscient point of view leaves nothing to the imagination. Repeated violence, death, and a single (if clinical) sex scene limit this selection to older teens, while the lack of foreshadowing and suspense will not satisfy those same readers. The ending leaves some questions, which may be explored in the next two books of the trilogy.-Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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