After the end of the world

I’ve been thinking about the end of the world lately. Or about children’s and YA fiction set during and after the end of the world, anyway.

Some months back I read Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember books, about an underground city, completely cut off from the outside world, established so that some bit of humanity would survive if the world fell completely apart. Which of course it did, but of course not completely; the most interesting thing about the end of the world being, always, what survives afterwards. (Besides, if the world ends completely, you don’t have any characters left to write about, right?)

More recently, I read Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now. Where the world doesn’t technically end, but it feels like it does: invasions of Europe and the U.S. change the nature of life as we know it. I wasn’t sure what I thought of the book when I first read it, but it’s haunted me ever since. That one reminded me, a little, of John Marsden’s Tomorrow, When the War Began, which I read years and years ago, too.

And then, at World Fantasy, bgliterary recommended Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It, a small town teen’s view of the global catastrophe that results from an asteroid hitting the moon. I have that one on order now.

Bones of Faerie (working title) is also set after the end of the world. I found I loved exploring the whole business of how we manage to build lives among the ruins of what was.

So, tell me about your favorite postapocalyptic young adult (or younger) books.

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