FLOODLAND by Marcus Sedgwick


Age Range: 11 - 13
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What price global warming? In Sedgwick’s near-future debut, only a few high spots, with small groups of ragged, desperate inhabitants, remain above the waves that cover what used to be England. From one such island, and with no map or supplies, young Zoe sets out in a small boat to find the parents from whom she was separated in the last, panicky evacuation. Though captured for a time by a sullen band of young people sheltering in a vast, ruined cathedral and presided over by a ruthless teenaged dictator, Zoe makes her escape into a wild storm, and catches up with her parents at last. Despite the happy ending, and late, feeble attempts at gallows humor, the author has crafted a dreary tale. He’s incorporated elements from Lord of the Flies, references to William Blake à la David Almond’s Skellig (1999), which are too oblique to have any real meaning for most young readers, and a vast, gloomy setting that never takes on a strong enough presence to add atmosphere, much less any sort of metaphorical resonance. Fans of the post-holocaust sci-fi of John Christopher may be drawn to this, but it is too plodding to hold them for long. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-385-32801-X
Page count: 152pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2000


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