Harper, Jun 2008, $17.99
Abracadabra anyone over thirteen years old simply vanished. Preadolescent kids are stunned when they realize there is no one ordering them about. Soon that shock turns to fear as a tough mentality begins to create a social Darwinist environs.
With the help of his kinetic power, Coates Academy charming delinquent Caine takes control of Perdido Beach with an iron rule. Sam also has power but he is reluctant to use it as he blames himself for the disappearance. Whereas some of the children look to townie Sam to take charge, Caine tightens his hold through his academy Freaks minion. War in Fallout Alley Youth Zone between the two sides is imminent; though turning fourteen next week means Sam is GONE.
The obvious immediate perception is that of the Lord of the Flies in a Left Behind world that turns Wild in the Streets. The story line explores the reactions of the young when the older generations are suddenly GONE. Michael Grant targets teens, but does not dumb down his apocalyptic thriller, which will delight his audience especially with knowing what Sam knows will happen to him shortly; as he has one week left before he vanishes. Although he prefers not to get involved, he is a natural leader; as is Caine although their values differ. Thus good neighbor Sam expects an OK Corral like battle against Caine that he believes will determine the future, which he hopes is his legacy once he is GONE while his adversary’s bully mentality is based on maximize your pleasure at the expense of others in order to live for today.