Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Weaver, Will.
New York : HarperCollins, 2001.
ISBN 0060288124

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

The year is 2008 and people are starving and dying.  Three years before, a chain of volcanic eruptions in Washington state sent volcanic ash into the atmosphere and it is still falling back on the earth.  In order to keep other pollutants out of the atmosphere nuclear generators, oil refineries, and coal-burning power plants are at minimum operating levels.  The ash has gradually reduced food production.  There is no gas for cars.  Crime is way up as people get desperate.  This is why the Newell family is leaving Minneapolis on the Ali Princess.  Their son Miles built the Ali Princess by cannibalizing the family's bikes, boats and other sports equipment.  He has created a pedal and wind-driven family vehicle.  The Newell family is headed for their cabin in the country to find safety until the crisis is over. They didn't anticipate that things would be just as bad in rural areas as they are in the city.  Maybe being charged the special price of $100 at MacDonald’s for breakfast for four should have been the first indication of trouble.   It certainly wasn't the last indication.  (Mary Huebscher, Librarian, Holy Cross of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Booktalk #2

                  Life will never be the same.  The year is 2008.  The Earth is practically destroyed.  Looking at the sky, at first glance, you may think you see beautiful snow drifting and floating softly to the ground.  This is no white wonderland.  Volcanic ash continuously falls around, covering everything with an eerie, dull film.  The eruption of Washington’s Mount Rainier has made food shortages all over the world.  It is now survival of the fittest and crime has reached an all-time high.  Sixteen-year-old Miles knows he must save his family.  They are doomed to die if they stay at their home in Minneapolis.  They must leave their beautiful home and all their friends behind.
                   Miles and the Newell family build a human-powered vehicle from bicycle and sailboat parts and head out to their cabin in the Minnesota wilderness.  Miles knows that this journey will be a challenge, one that will test their strength and endurance.  What the family does not know is that their cabin is currently being occupied by two other families ­ families who are desperate for their own chance of survival.
                   Miles must rely on his ingenuity and his incredible memory to come up with a plan ­ a plan that will save all their lives before it’s too late.  (Stacy Holcombe Symborski,, Media Specialist - DR Hill Middle school)

SUBJECTS:     Wilderness survival -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Fiction.
                        Minnesota -- Fiction.


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