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Parent reviews for Life as We Knew It

Common Sense says

Gripping, terrifying disaster tale will inspire discussions.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 64 reviews
Parent of a 8 and 13 year old Written byLucy Lou June 16, 2010

Surprised at the 4 Star Rating

I teach in a parochial school, and my 5th and 6th grade kiddos would have a hard time with this book. As an avid reader of juvenile fiction, I think there are better choices for 5-8 grade kids. This is heavy subject matter. The author does a wonderful job of painting a bleak, dreary, frightening picture of a global disaster, and that's exactly what's wrong with it. The imagery that it creates is a heavy and grey, as if you can feel the weight of these characters around you. Sammi goes off with a 40 year old man so that her parents don't have to worry about feeding her, and her parents seem fine with that, given the circumstances. Megan starves herself to earn redemption for her sins by an unforgiving God. This perception of God is taught to her by a preacher who takes food from his congregation as they are dying from starvation. So much food that he still appears not to have lost any weight at all. I think the message of God and His church in this book is extremely negative. The main character, Miranda, chooses to give up her life by walking out in freezing temperatures in a weakened state so that her family's food can last a few days longer. Luckily, that doesn't occur, but that's about the happiest thing in this story. The ideas of taking care of your family, loving your mother and father, and selflessness are all good messages, but it's told at such a dark, emotional level that I'm afraid some children would be haunted by the tale.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Parent of a 10 and 14 year old Written byjillyme February 2, 2014

Fun disaster book with a few iffy topics

I would not give this to anyone under 14. While it is a fun, quick read it does have some mature topics such as sex, an underage girl going off with a 40-year-old man, and eating issues (one girl starves herself to death because of her view on religion). It is not a book I would give to my young teen to read on their own.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent Written bykatadams55 July 27, 2011

Good disaster Novel will really make you think.

When I first saw this book at a school book fair and read the back (as I always do), I was positive I'd like it, and I really did. The story is about a teenager who live in a time not too far in the future, and her world totally changes when an asteroid knocks the Moon closer to Earth's orbit. It was very dramatic to see the main character's world change from a normal life to a severe fight for survival, and the story (which is expressed through journal entries) really makes you think about what would happen to you in this situation. Inappropriate content: For this kind of book, there isn't too much too worry about (unlike the last book in the series). There are some scary moments and the occasional cuss word. Overall this is a very solid title, and I think if you're a teenager older , this is definitely worth a buy. Overall rating: In for ages 12 and up and 8.5/10

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byFutureEnglishTeacher May 29, 2011

Gets you thinking. What would you do?

I really enjoyed this book. I think it gets you thinking about what the future might hold you. When you read about Miranda growing up because she has to and you see what life could be like without all the luxuries we have today, I think it is a real eye opener. I also felt like it was a fast read (I'm also 21....). the chapters go by fast and it is very easy to follow and understand. Some parts were sad but I think it's important for kids to realize all they have to lose. I'm more grateful for what I have now that I've read this book.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Parent of a 6 and 11 year old Written byRunWithMe35 July 22, 2014

Makes You Think About What is Really Important

I wasn't too happy when I learned that my soon to be sixth grader has a summer reading assignment for his pre-AP English class next year. Haven't we worked our overachievers enough this school year? My aggravation disappeared when I read the book. The book is extremely well written. It is a book that a kid would want to read for entertainment. It doesn't have to be force fed. I agree this book covers a terrifying subject, but the message in the book is strong. The book makes us think about what is really important in life. I see this summer reading assignment as a great opportunity to approach important subjects with my son when he gets back from Christian church camp next week...yes, we are religious. We do not fear reading materials that make us question someone's devotion to God. I have no doubt my avid Christian reader will finish this book in one day long sitting. The book is that good. I look forward to hearing his thoughts about the characters, and the choices that they make.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 14 year old Written byarctic man September 3, 2012

don't read it

this book is truly terrible it has a political agenda and the main character is a weak person who at the end of the book goes and tries to die.
Adult Written bylilubooks684 August 11, 2011

MY NEW FAVORITE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

after reading this book in three days, it got me thinking what i really find important. i kept thinking i needed to conserve the food in my kitchen i got so wrapped up!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byLaxboy28207 April 9, 2008

Great Book

I think this is a good book for kids around middle school. I enjoyed it but don't read it if you expect it to be all action.
Adult Written byrissy April 9, 2008

awesome!!

this book is intrueging, funny, a good example and even a little romance! Its definetly a page turner and keeps you reading.
Adult Written byHelen S. May 17, 2017

A Little Boring for 8th Graders

For 14 year old students, they found the book to be boring with a few interesting parts. They hoped that more emphasis would be on disasters with more of a thriller. The main character writes a lot of her personal home experience, emphasizing her feelings--expected for a diary. I guess that students expected more action and scientific explanations. The book has a gentle approach to what is happening around the world. It's a good book for 10 to 12 year olds but boring for 13 + students.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Adult Written byqerkjhgwekjg April 19, 2016

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bymcoate April 9, 2008

Everyone should read this

By the first 50 pages of the book you can no longer stop reading. It becomes almost an effort to remove reality from fiction. The book is told so well you want to rush out and stock your cabinets and prepare for the world to end. Very moving, very emotional, one of the best books I read last year
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byalbthb May 31, 2012

Boring and somewhat disturbing

We read this for our mother-daughter book club. The fact that Sammi (a minor) takes off with a 40 year old (George) that she met four weeks ago is not only disturbing...it's illegal. Sammi said "Love at first sight. At least for him, which is a good thing. He can have any girl he wants. I'm lucky he wants me". What?!? Pfeffer brushes over this incident in chapter 8. It scares me to think about young, impressionable readers absorbing this information without an adult to let them know it's NOT okay. I'm surprised this book received so many positive reviews. I found it to be annoyingly negative, redundant and boring. Our group is not afraid to tackle difficult and emotional subjects. We welcome those books. I would never recommend this book to others.
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byluvmonkeys November 24, 2010

Depends on how easily you freak out

This is a great book, but scary. If your kid is a worrier, it will probably be a bit too much if they are under 13. Maybe even over 13. Very easy to place yourself in the situation. I enjoyed it, but it even freaked me out a little. Good book. Will scary the cheese out of some kids though.
Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written bydlorenz May 17, 2013

Must read

Just finished this book and loved it. It was very well written and hard to put down. Disturbing but not in a way that would traumatize anyone.
Adult Written byGranny reader March 26, 2012

Children love this book!

I loved this book, it's my cup of tea on a rainy day. I recommend this book to any young children around the globe. You never even consider putting the novel down. Even my elderly friends enjoy this intense novel. The children of the world love this book! i give it 1 million stars of rating. Great novel.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Consumerism
Adult Written bysydneycm June 19, 2009

Great Book, but I would save for age 13+

This was on my son's list for Battle of the Books this summer, and it looked interesting, so I got it for him. He read it in one day and proclaimed it one of the best and scariest books he has read in a while. He insisted I read it, too. Like him, I was completely unable to put it down. I highly recommend it. That being said, I will not give it to my 10 year old daughter to read. The romance with Dan, some talks about sex... I think many 10 year olds are ready for that.
Parent of a 12 year old Written bydollbecky November 5, 2009

A good solid read

This book went down well in our house ... its interesting how the main character grows up under the awful events....Book 2 in this series is much better though