Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Armstrong, Jennifer and Nancy Butcher.
New York : HarperCollins, 2002.
ISBN 0060080485

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

It is now the year 2007.  It's been five years since the disaster.  People got very sick and died.  All the grown ups died.  Seven children have survived in the small town in Florida.  They don't remember much from the Before Time.  They don't even remember their names.  They now are known by their role in the group.  The three teenagers take charge of the group.  Teacher is in charge of The Book.  All knowledge is kept in The Book.  She adds to The Book as she learns new things.  Mommy takes care of the little ones.  She feeds them as best she can and tries to keep them clean.  Hunter is the oldest boy and his job is to search the town for food and other provisions needed by The Family.  The rest of the children are too young to remember what life was like in the Before Time.  Things are getting worse for the children.  The town is running out of food for them.  Living on applesauce and canned beets is becoming unbearable.  Hunter decides he must go to other towns in search of food.  But, before he can leave, an unexpected visitor changes their whole outlook on life.  When a teenager named Angerman joins the group, he decides they should go to Washington to find the President.  He will know what is going on.  He will help them.  He will tell them if they have to worry about the illness coming again.  If they have to worry about the Fire-Us that wiped out all the First Mommies and First Daddies.

Booktalk #2

It is the year 2007. The world has been wiped out by a deadly plague that killed all the adults. Without them, children perished of hunger and disease. No more people, no more electricity, no more civilization -- just mildewed houses, overgrown yards, and abandoned cars. Yet on a highway strip outside a small town in Florida, the words "WE'RE STILL HERE" are painted in letters big enough to be seen from an airplane -- although no airplanes ever cross the empty sky.
Miraculously, seven children have survived among the ruins. They cannot remember their names, their families, or much else from the Before Time. But they have forged a new family, with new names: Mommy, Hunter, Teacher, Action Figure, Teddy Bear, Baby, and Doll.
They must face each day with enough hope to endure and the strength to realize that there may be nothing out there worth living for. Then one day, a new kid shows up on their doorstep and changes everything. He invites them to join him on a dangerous journey to Washington, to find a man called President -- if he's still alive -- and seek the answers to the mystery at the heart of Fire-us.

Prepared by: Heidi Lewis for South Carolina Junior Book Award 2005

Booktalk #3

The year is 2007. There have been no adults for 5 years, and none of the 7 children left in Lazarus, Florida, remember their names or anything except vague memories in the Before-Time. They have renamed themselves for what they do for “the family”: Teacher, Mommy, Hunter, Action Figure, Teddy Bear, Baby and Doll. One day, three new children show up. Anchorman, Kitty and Puppy join the family and the 10 children decide to face their fears and go to Washington to see if there is any one else left. (Melissa Bowman,, Armstrong Middle School)

SUBJECTS:     Survival -- Fiction.
                        Science fiction.


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