Guides by Deb – Keeping your books in the hearts of young readers and in the hands of those who care for them.
The guide linked below was created by Debbie Gonzales, MFA. Deb is a career educator, curriculum consultant, former school administrator and adjunct professor, and once served as a SCBWI RA for the Austin Chapter. She's the author of six “transitional” readers for a New Zealand publisher and the forthcoming non-fiction picture book Girls with Guts: The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records (Charlesbridge, 2019). Deb earned her MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Are you interested in discussing a reader’s guide project? If so, click here. Deb’s eager to hear from you!
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Author: Andrea White
Publisher: River Grove Books
Synopsis: Zert Cage accepts a dare. The 13-year-old sneaks out of his house to engage in a Trash War with his friends. Nothing out of the ordinary about that. Except that it’s 2083, and the world is falling apart. The Nuclear Mistake has left the oceans dead and brown, and grime and pollution are the way of life for anyone not wealthy enough to live in the Up Cities, which float high above the surface of the earth. Those left behind in the Low Cities wear gas masks when they go outside to avoid the Superpox, a highly infectious and deadly disease with a vaccine that few can afford.
When the Trash War goes all wrong—Zert encounters Superpox and also has a brush with the law—he must do something drastic to secure a vaccine and avoid a long stint in Teen Jail.
Zert and his father get wind of a top secret project to save people from both the disease and the wasteland that the earth has become and agree to allow themselves to be shrunk to the size of their thumbs and transported to an as-yet-undisturbed national park.
With signs of infection appearing on Zert’s arm, they act quickly, and overnight, they become outsiders in a community of minimized people who are trying to thrive in the wild using insects as food.
Roach stew? Cricket farming? Predators bigger than he is? Zert must find a way to fit in with this new world if he’s going to survive.