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THE EMPTY CITY by Erin Hunter Kirkus Star

THE EMPTY CITY

From the Survivors series, volume 1

By Erin Hunter

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-210256-0
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

In this dog-themed series opener from the team behind the Warriors franchise, dogs must learn to face not only the results of the devastating earthquake that has turned their world upside down, but their own feelings of loyalty and independence.

With the earth swelling beneath them and their cages twisting around them, the dogs in the shelter are trapped and frightened. Familiar with the legend of the "Big Growl," Lucky is able to quickly piece together what has happened. He and another dog, Sweet, manage to escape, only to find themselves in the middle of a city in ruin. With the humans ("longpaws") gone, it is up to Lucky to try to find food and shelter. He is quickly joined by other dogs who are desperately hungry and unprepared for their new world. Lucky is a reluctant leader, eager for a life of solitude, but he feels a kinship and responsibility for this new pack. Weaving together the horrific yet all-too-familiar scenes of natural disaster with the mythical legends of the dogs, Hunter expertly explores the tensions between responsibility and freedom; risk and safety; and loyalty and acceptance. Viewing the unfolding adventure through Lucky’s eyes makes even the most mundane or familiar seem alive with magic.

Wild and wonderful adventure for middle-graders. (Adventure. 8-12)