Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In the Small

Hague, Michael. 2008. IN THE SMALL. New York: Hachette Book Group. ISBN 9780316013239 [Suggested Grade Levels 7-12]

A blue flash and mankind is reduced to one-twelfth of its former size. The edifices of the former civilization remain but how is mankind to survive when even rats, dogs, and cats have become their mortal enemies? In his debut young adult graphic novel, illustrator Michael Hague grapples with human reaction to becoming smaller than six inches tall. In a desperate struggle to survive, a teenage brother and sister take the lead in trying to save as many humans as they can from their new place at the bottom of the food change. “Mouse” who is at work with his father has a sudden vision of the future. Despite his fear, he gathers a band of survivors and they try to make their way to a safer place. Beatrix, his sister, is at home when it happens and is responsible for the survival of the rest of the family. The parallel stories are often brutal and bloody but show an intense sense of a world gone wrong and the strength of character and will that it takes to survive. Future volumes predicted.

This graphic novel will have great appeal for the teen reader. While rather violent in place, as a whole it is entirely appropriate for school and public libraries. The strong binding will hold up to high usage.

Use in literature circles with each group having different survival novels. Use it as a basis for building group dynamics or higher level thinking skills by playing survival games. For a guide with instructions and ideas go to: http://wilderdom.com/games/descriptions/SurvivalScenarios.html.

Other books about survival:
Pfeffer, Susan Beth. LIFE AS WE KNEW IT. ISBN 9780152061548
Pfeffer, Susan Beth. THE DEAD AND THE GONE. ISBN 9780152063115

By Janet Hilbun

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