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THE LAST SAFE PLACE ON EARTH by Richard Peck

THE LAST SAFE PLACE ON EARTH

By Richard Peck

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0440220076
Publisher: Delacorte

The Tobins have moved to Walden Woods because they thought they would be safe in the friendly, upscale community, with an excellent school system. But there are no safe places left on Earth, as they discover when a teenager is killed in a driving accident, a number of cars are stolen and trashed, and Christian fundamentalists begin demanding the censorship of books like The Diary of Anne Frank. High- school sophomore Todd Tobin, who narrates, discovers the madness in his own home where his little sister, Marnie, has been brainwashed by her fundamentalist babysitter, Laurel. Todd has a crush on Laurel, and eventually comes to understand how confused she is; he resolves to combat censorship wherever he finds it, no matter how minor it first seems. Peck, whose hallmark is believable, well-realized characters, allows some stereotypes to creep into the story. Further, the title may set up expectations for far more dramatic events, thereby diminishing the impact of such insidious occurrences as the brainwashing of Marnie. Nevertheless, this is a provocative novel about important issues. (Fiction. 12+)