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A Plague Yearby Edward Bloor
Synopses & Reviews
It's 2001 and zombies have taken over Tom's town. Meth zombies. The drug rips through Blackwater, PA, with a ferocity and a velocity that overwhelms everyone.
It starts small, with petty thefts of cleaning supplies and Sudafed from the supermarket where Tom works. But by year's end there will be ruined, hollow people on every street corner. Meth will unmake the lives of friends and teachers and parents. It will fill the prisons, and the morgues.
Tom's always been focused on getting out of his depressing coal mining town, on planning his escape to a college somewhere sunny and far away. But as bits of his childhood erode around him, he finds it's not so easy to let go. With the selfless heroism of the passengers on United Flight 93 that crashed nearby fresh in his mind and in his heart, Tom begins to see some reasons to stay, to see that even lost causes can be worth fighting for.
Edward Bloor has created a searing portrait of a place and a family and a boy who survive a harrowing plague year, and become stronger than before.
"Bloor (London Calling) revisits his days teaching high school English to find parallels between Daniel Defoe's classic about the bubonic plague in 17th-century London and a (real) methamphetamine epidemic in Pennsylvania. In a crackerjack opening, readers meet ninth-grader Tom Coleman outside his father's grocery store when he prevents the robbery of an ATM. Robberies — especially of cleaning supplies and Sudafed — have escalated as Blackwater, a coal-mining town, succumbs to addiction. At school, Tom and his sister, Lilly, attend drug counseling after she gets caught smoking pot. In these sessions, they reconnect with Arthur, a cousin whose family has already suffered the fallout of drug abuse. Bloor's villains — a psychiatrist who specializes in rehab, but is a user himself, and a craven football coach — are cartoonish, but characters closer to Tom have more dimension, especially the Food Giant staff: Tom's father, assistant manager Uno, and Bobby, who has Down syndrome. The plot is message-heavy but goes down easily because Bloor excels at writing vivid scenes. Tom is a thoroughly sympathetic narrator as he grows to realize there is value in 'blooming where you are planted.' Ages 12 — up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
EDWARD BLOOR is the author of several acclaimed novels including Taken, winner of the Florida Sunshine State Young Reader Award, London Calling, a Book Sense 76 top ten selection, and Tangerine which was an ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, a Horn Book Fanfare Selection, and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book.
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