The Electric Kingdom
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Electric Kingdom is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, set a few decades in the future. Humanity has become almost extinct due to the ravages of the Flies and the Fly Flu. David Arnold (Mosquitoland), brings a philosophical bent to the tale. Violence comes mostly in the form of attacks by Flies, but the story's climax involves guns, knives and physical assault. There's a small amount of sex -- two teens share a sleeping bag. Strong language is mostly reserved for scenes of high intensity, and variants of "f--k" and "s--t" add up. A near-adult character drinks a bottle of wine.
Deep, heavy story
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What's the Story?
As THE ELECTRIC KINGDOM begins, 18-year-old Nico and her dog Harry travel through East Coast forests, trying to avoid that deadly Flies that have decimated humanity. They make their way to a town where the inhabitants have made a home in a local cinema. Among them are a set of twins named Lakie and Monty, an artistic tween named Kit, and an older teen called Lennon. As they travel closer to their destinations, Nico and crew grow closer to one another. None can predict the answers to their questions about reality.
Is It Any Good?
There are plenty of post-apocalyptic novels to choose from, but this near-future adventure novel presents a new way of looking at the genre. In The Electric Kingdom, David Arnold presents a band of intrepid teen travelers as they make their ways through a deadly landscape. Nico, Kit, Lennon, and the mysterious Deliverer take multiple turns in the spotlight, revealing how they've been changed by life among the Flies. Even Harry the dog is a captivating character. Revelations near the end of the novel upend expectations, leading to a conclusion that is twisty and heart-tugging. Arnold seems to make the case that stories will be what saves us when things fall apart. Readers looking for easy answers may be befuddled by the plot, but The Electric Kingdom rewards those willing to dig deeply into the text.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how The Electric Kingdom portrays life after an apocalypse. How is Fly Flu similar and different from COVID-19?
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Why is storytelling important? How do stories add perspective to our lives, and how do they change over time?
- Author: David Arnold
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Bugs, Friendship, Science and Nature
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: February 9, 2021
- Number of pages: 432
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 4, 2022
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