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EMPTY by Suzanne Weyn

EMPTY

By Suzanne Weyn

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-17278-3
Publisher: Scholastic

A likely scenario driving this eco-disaster doesn’t quite compensate for a heavy agenda and a wonderfully convenient plot twist. “Ten years from now,” five young Hudson Valley residents led by Gwen, a parentally abandoned teen hiding behind a punk persona, struggle to conduct normal social lives as dwindling petroleum resources shoot the price of gas toward triple figures, even basic commodities become locally hard to get, the United States invades Venezuela and, to cap it off, a superhurricane blasts up the eastern seaboard leaving massive destruction in its wake. How lucky it is for her friends and devastated community that during the storm Gwen takes shelter in an abandoned mine and discovers a secret, uninhabited, self-sufficient model home complete with large greenhouse garden and alternative-energy power generator! Along with this happy chance, news items and info-dumps that often read like student reports coexist uneasily in Weyn’s narrative of teen breakups and make-ups, dealing with domestic and self-confidence issues and finding ways to cope with change. This effort, though worthy, is unlikely to be taken seriously by its intended audience. (Science fiction. 11-13)