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The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

PG-13--content not appropriate for those under 13

Alex's world is forever altered when an asteroid hits the moon...can he prove man enough to care for his two younger sisters and himself? This isn't your typical coming-of-age story, though that's definitely what it is. That being said, this young adult apocalyptic book IS what you might expect from that genre--lots of hardship and decisions born out of struggle that individuals never would have made under normal circumstances. This isn't a feel good book. The problems aren't solved by the last page. But this story definitely has redeeming qualities. Its themes are family, faith, courage, and leadership. I especially appreciated how the author seamlessly wove faith into the story. I don't think it's supposed to be a religious or Christian book per se, but the main character explores and further solidifies his somewhat shaky faith throughout the book. I also appreciated that this story features a Puerto Rican American (written before POC books were all the buzz on social media); we get glimpses of how that culture (including the Catholic religion) impacts his life and decisions. I haven't read the first book in the series, but this reads fine as a stand-alone. Because of some gruesome details and some mention of Playboy, I give this a parental safety rating of PG-13.


  • Family

  • Faith

  • Courage

  • Leadership

  • Catastrophic events

  • New York City


  • Millions of people are killed worldwide by catastrophic flooding.

  • Some people commit suicide (the main characters watch one man jump from a high rise).

  • Rats consume dead bodies left lying around.

  • The main characters end up "mining" dead bodies for goods to sell in exchange for food.

  • One character mentions his Playboy magazines in a passing comment and sells his goods for alcohol for his alcoholic mother. This same character keeps a gun on his person for safety.

  • A priest and a nun lie in order to save two youths lives.

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