Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Pfeffer, Susan Beth.  Life As We Knew It. Harcourt Children’s Books.  2006. ISBN 0152058265


Reader’s Annotation: When a meteor hits the moon and knocks its orbit closer to Earth Miranda and her family must prepare for the end of the world as they knew it.

Plot Summary: When a meteor knocks the moon out of its orbit it starts a series of tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters.  Soon the ash blocks the sun and the world enters an Arctic winter in the middle of Summer. Miranda and her family must find a way to survive as food and water begin to run out and things continue to get worse.

Critical Evaluation

This book will knock your socks off and have you wanting to rush out and create some sort of emergency supply stash the minute you finish the book.  It’s told through a series of journal entries made by Miranda as she, her mother and her two brothers are forced to hole up in their house.  As I read I would gaze around my own house wondering what would I do in each situation and would I survive such a catastrophe.  Miranda’s character was complicated and I alternated between sympathizing with her and thinking she was the biggest, most ungrateful brat with the way she reacts to her mother’s attempt to keep them all alive.

I think most readers will enjoy this book as it does play upon your imagination to put yourself in Miranda’s position.  While not a dystopian I think it will still appeal to many of those Hunger Game fans looking for something else to read.

About the author

Pfeffer was born in New York City in 1948 and published her first book, Just Morgan, in 1970.  Since then she has won numerous awards for her work which ranges from picture books to middle grade and young adult books.

Life As We Knew It made the ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults list in 2007 and was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award, the Quill Awards and the Hal Clement Award.



Curriculum Ties


Book talking idea

If you had just a few hours to grab necessities needed for survival what would you gather?

Reading level

Ages 14 and up.

Challenge Issues


Why did I include this book?

Like I mentioned above with the dystopian craze after the popularity with The Hunger Games there are many teens looking for other reading options.  While this is not a dystopian it is a very addictive read and does talk about a teenage girl’s journey to survive the unthinkable.


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Filed under Fiction, Post-war/apocalylptic/disaster

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