It’s official, this blog is going to every other week (with the occasional bonus blog). Why? I have a job! I just don’t have the time to read an extra book a week AND figure out how to be a librarian in the real world. I’ll try to do as many as I can though!
Anyway, growing up about four hours from Yellowstone, I remember learning that it’s basically a giant, dormant volcano. When I was nine I actually lost sleep on occasion because I was convinced that it would explode and render my home and family into tiny bits of ash.
Mike Mullen has taken my childhood nightmare and made it into a book. Our hero, Alex, decided to stay home while his family heads off to visit his grandparents. The next thing he knows, there’s ash falling from the sky and coating everything in sight. Before long, chaos reigns, and the only thing Alex can think to do is to try to find his family. What was a four-hour drive becomes much longer when you’re just a kid with a bike. Tragedy brings out the best and the absolute worst in other people, and Alex has to do his best.
In the vein of books like Life as We Knew It, Ashfall made me count my non-perishable food. Alex is smart and resourceful, and it’s great to see a boy character use his brain to solve problems. He meets his match in Darla, and it’s nice to see them alternately work together and challenge each other in their struggle for survival.
Overall, it’s a heartbreaking adventure, and I even lean towards hoping it makes its way into classes. There’s a lot of morality, ethics, and science here. That makes for more than a few good discussion topics.
Highly recommended, but this isn’t a book for the sensitive children.
Also, why are so many fictional boys named Alex?