Vivian, Siobhan. The Last Boy and Girl in the World. Simon & Schuster 2016 320p $17.99 ISBN 978-1-4814-5229-8 ms/hs Realistic fiction VG-BN
Keeley, like her father, does not believe that Aberdeen must be sacrificed due to weather conditions that are threatening its citizens. She forges ahead with a new relationship, unable to accept change in the midst of impending disaster. Vivian is a wonderful storyteller. She creates characters who are static and dynamic, and sometimes both! That is no easy task, but in this novel, which concerns the demise of a town, the emotional changes necessary to cope with trauma, and the people who come and go in one’s life, the characters attempt to remain the same but cannot, thereby creating this unique combination of being both static and dynamic. Throughout the book, until the end, protagonist Keeley is a static character, a jokester who seldom takes life seriously. When her town is flooded by torrential spring rains, and the governor announces that the town will be sacrificed for the construction of a dam and a lake, she cannot even take that seriously. More important is her budding relationship with Jesse, her day-to-day friendship with best friend Morgan, and the year-end prom and graduation, which have both been put in jeopardy by the flooding. The flood and the reaction of the townspeople as they face the decision of whether to accept the government buyout or fight to remain, are creatively interwoven with the flood and its impact on the teens, who face the same struggles as their parents without actually experiencing the responsibility of decision-making. Readers will love the setting of a town about to die, they will relate to Keeley’s friendship with Morgan, and they will be interested until the end to see if Keeley ends up with Jesse. That is the drama of this book, primarily because readers know from the prologue that the town is going to drown. This book has small amounts of sexual innuendo, no drugs and no violence, making it an appropriate book for middle-school students. The novel definitely deserves a spot in high-school libraries as well as public libraries. Vivian creates believable conflicts and has a powerful message.
Summary: Keeley, like her father, does not believe that Aberdeen must be sacrificed due to weather conditions that are threatening its citizens. She forges ahead with a new relationship, unable to accept change in the midst of impending disaster.
Natural disasters-Fiction --Martha Squaresky