104 pages 3 hours read

Rodman Philbrick

The Last Book In The Universe

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2000

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The Last Book in the Universe

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade dystopian
  • Originally Published: 2000
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 740L; grades 4-7
  • Structure/Length: 33 chapters; approx. 240 pages; approx. 4 hours and 24 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Spaz, a teenager with epilepsy, is one of the few people in a future dystopian world who doesn’t use mind probes for entertainment, allowing him to see things clearly. He and an old man named Ryter embark on a journey to find a promised land called Eden.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issue: ableism

Rodman Philbrick, Author

  • Bio: Grew up in New Hampshire; currently lives in both Maine and Florida; started writing novels at the age of 16; writes for both children and adults
  • Other Works: Freak the Mighty (1993); The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg (2009); Zane and the Hurricane (2014)
  • Awards: Maine Library Association Lupine Award (2000); ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2001); Newbery Honor (2010)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Memory’s Impact on Society
  • The Foundational Nature of the Family Unit
  • Maintaining Class Structure
  • Leadership and Privilege
  • Inner Versus Outer Beauty

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of dystopian literature and how its literary and cultural qualities convey messages about Memory’s Impact on Society and Maintaining Class Structure.