2 Jan

untitledFallout by Todd Strasser is written during a time in America’s history that children in today’s world know little about.  Although America has been at war (officially and unofficially) for almost as long as many of these kids have been alive, this war is very different from the Cold War happening during the 1960s.  During the summer of 1962, Scott plays with his friends in the neighborhood as the threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union looms over everything that happens.  When Scott’s father begins to build a bomb shelter for his family, Scott is proud of his father for preparing for the worst, but also suffers being stigmatized by his friends as well.

But that all changes the night Scott’s father wakes him up and hustles him to the ladder to the bomb shelter.  And before he knows, it ten people are crammed in a space built and supplied for only four.  They have to stay inside for two weeks while the radiation levels go down after the attack, but what will happen?  Ten people is many more than what Scott’s father planned for and they might not be able to last for two weeks.

This novel is about a time in history that many kids can only dream about and scoff at with photographs of children hiding under desks to protect themselves from a nuclear bomb, but the threat was very real at the time and this book handles it in a very real way.  I really enjoyed the character development of this story as well as urgency of the plot as adults became more and more stressed out as food dwindled.  The book is not only about nuclear war, but also about the prejudices that were common during this era.   This would make a great addition to a history class about the Cold War and could open up some very interesting discussion.  It’s also interesting to note that the author’s father did in fact build a bomb shelter during the 1960s in their home in case of a nuclear war.  This is definitely an eye-opening story.

Check out this 60-second recap from the book!  Look for more information about the author on his website!

Title: Fallout

Author: Todd Strasser

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publication Date: 2013

Page Number: 258 pgs.


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