A lethal virus has destroyed most of humankind, and all that have survived is a handful of children. Five years after the catastrophe, teens named “Teacher”, “Mommy” and “Hunter” take care of younger siblings and manage to survive with no electricity, fresh food, or water by using up surplus canned and dried food from grocery store shelves.
They eat beats, applesauce, crushed ice-cream cones, while teacher takes notes in a hand made survival manual and saves pamphlets that may provide any clues to help with their continued existence. One day a teen named “Anchorman” shows up at that door and joins their family. AKA “angerman” has some baggage, literally. He carries around a mannequin he’s named bad-guy, and he lets the bad guy take the physical brunt of his deep-rooted anger over his present world situation. Two more stray children (Puppy and Kitty) join their group, and due to dwindling supplies, the children begin a trip to Washington DC to hopefully find more survivors and perhaps even the president.
This is a fascinating adventure, one that keeps you turning the pages to see what is next in store for these poor kids. The descriptions of what life would be like if there was such a catastrophe are believable, especially the response these kids have towards their dire circumstances. Angerman is the most volatile of the characters, having a go at beating up “bad guy” on a regular basis, but he does begin to soften as the book progresses and tries to suppress his angry outbursts near the ending of the book.
There is lots of fuel for discussion. What kind of virus could have wiped out all adults? Why did so few children survive? Do you think the book is realistic? How would you survive against such odds as are represented in the book? How is each character vital to the survival of the group?
The good news (or bad depending on how you like your endings) is the end is with a cliffhanger. So, if you take the time to read Fire-us book one, have book two lined up because you’ll want to know what happens next.
This is a required reading selection for our town’s (Brighton, NY) school district.