105 pages 3 hours read

Neal Shusterman, Jarrod Shusterman


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2018

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  • Genre: Fiction; young adult survival
  • Originally Published: 2018
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 790L; grades 7-10
  • Structure/Length: 6 parts; 56 chapters with brief “snapshot” scenes interspersed; approx. 399 pages; approx. 11 hours on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: When water supplies run dry in California, Alyssa and her family and friends must find ways to survive. Her neighbor Kelton’s family is prepped for disaster, but no one is prepared for the effects that desperation and scarcity can have on a community.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Violence; threats of sexual violence; death

Neal Shusterman, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1962 in Brooklyn, New York; became a writer after his 9th-grade English teacher challenged him to write a story every month; moved from Brooklyn to Mexico City at age 16 and finished high school there; graduated from UC Irvine, studying psychology and theater; received National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (2015) for his book Challenger Deep
  • Other Works: Downsiders (1999); Full Tilt (2004); Unwind Dystology series (2007-2014); Arc of a Scythe trilogy (2016-2019)

Jarrod Shusterman, Author

  • Bio: Son of Neal Shusterman; learned to love reading by reading his father’s stories; tells stories in many mediums, including film; lives in Los Angeles and Spain
  • Other Works: Roxy (with Neal Shusterman; 2021); Retro (with Sofía Lapuente; 2023)

Awards: YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2019); Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year Selection (2019)