Parents' Guide to

A Death-Struck Year

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Historic flu epidemic seen through eyes of strong teen girl.

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In A Death-Struck Year, first-time author Makiia Lucier creates a strong, believable, and compelling heroine in 17-year-old Cleo Berry. Kids will easily relate to Cleo, who doesn't know what she wants to do with her life and who doesn't think she's anything special; they'll be inspired by her example, not only to help those in need but also to discover that they're capable of more than they think.

The book ends on a rather morose note, which is arguably appropriate given that the subject's an epidemic that decimates whole cities. But, throughout the book, Cleo's narrative voice is fairly light in tone and depth, which makes the bittersweet ending somewhat jarring in comparison. Although kids might be left in a sober mood, they'll have soaked up a lot of history from this absorbing tale, as seen through the eyes of a great girl role model.

Book Details

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