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The Eleventh Plague Hardcover – September 1, 2011

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Frequently Bought Together

The Eleventh Plague + The Darkest Path + Magisterium
Price for all three: $41.30

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  • The Darkest Path $13.58
  • Magisterium $13.86

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545290147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545290142
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for The Eleventh Plague

"The Eleventh Plague hits disturbingly close to home... An excellent, taut debut novel." — Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games

About the Author

Jeff Hirsch graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with an MFA in Dramatic Writing, and is the USA TODAY bestselling author of THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE and MAGISTERIUM. He lives in Beacon, New York, with his wife. Visit him online at

More About the Author

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. Here's a little about me:

I'm originally from Richmond, VA but now live in Astoria, NY with my wife who blogs and writes books about sewing and our two cats who don't contribute anywhere near as much to society.

I went to undergrad in North Carolina (studied acting) and then headed out to San Diego and got an MFA in dramatic writing.

I know how to escape from a strait jacket while suspended from the ceiling by my ankles.

If I ever have a dog I think I'd like to name him Jerry Lee Lewis.

I'm torn as to whether the coolest living human is A) Tom Waits or B) Prince.

The Eleventh Plague is my first book. Well, the first book that was ever published. There was this one about a teenage rockstar and her drag queen fairy godmother, but honestly, the less said about that one the better.

Customer Reviews

I knew this was going to be a great book after I finished reading the first page.
The Flashlight Reader
The character development was seriously lacking, and the author didn't really think too much about the stuff he threw into the book.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone with young readers looking for a well-crafted tale of adventure.
Miss Barbara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer L. Rinehart TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It was the front cover blurb from Suzanne Collins that caught my eye. I've read the Hunger Games three times and if Suzanne says this book is 'excellent' then it at least deserved a second look.

I grabbed it along with a copy of Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (which is super duper, btw) and found a place to sit down (which is a rare thing at Barnes and Noble nowadays) and started to read the first chapter.

From the first page I was drawn in. I don't like to make comparisons to other books, it's hard to do it well and people always squawk about it if the book compared is one they either love or hate, but Stephen, the main character reminds me a lot of Katniss from the Hunger Games. There's also a bit of Rose (from Vampire Academy), Marcus (from Little Brother and Nailer (from Shipbreaker). Like the characters from these other books, Stephen is a young person forced to deal with terrifyingly mature situations that could lead to dire situations for himself and others. How he rises to the challenge is what kept me reading through lunch then dinner without stopping.

Stephen's world is far different than the one we know now. His family are scavengers, think of the dead and rotting world in movies like Mad Max or Logan's Run and you wouldn't be far off. There was a war with China, then a plague and what's left of America lives in small settlements scattered throughout the country.

His small family are scavengers. His father, his brutish grandfather and Stephen roam what's left of the cities for tradeable items, something like a can of pears could allow them to have food and shelter for a week. But scavengers are not the only ones wandering the cities.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Tina on September 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was a little disappointed in this one. It starts out with Stephen roaming the country with his Dad and Grandpa, salvaging what they could, to survive, after a war, the plague and finally the Collapse. Suddenly they get to Settler's Landing, this almost-to-good-to-be true town where all the events that ensue turn the story into something a little too simplistic for me.

After living the life he did, with his mean old coot of a grandpa, I would have thought that Stephen would be more mature than he was. The prank that was played by Jenny and Stephen was silly and carried way to much of a bearing on the story, after all they went through. The author simply lost me here.

I just found that the families in the story reverted back to their old ways a little too easily. They let the "money" people run the show, and they still followed, just as before, still pushing for war. Basically, nothing changed "after the war" and no lessons were learned.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Louise Llama VINE VOICE on October 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jeff Hirsch's The Eleventh Plague starts out in post war/post plague Northern America with a teenage boy and his father burying the grandfather who had succumbed to an illness. The story starts out years after life as humans knew it changed due to the war (China) and an unleashed plague. These events are referred to in the story as The Collapse. Like in most apocolyptic stories survivors of The Collapse live a nomadic life struggling to survive. The father and son come across an old wrecked plane and decide to see if there is anything of value in it. They look around for awhile but soon it started to rain and a band of "Slavers" (ex-military or overall scumbags who traveled the land capturing survivors to sell in the trade markets or to plantation owners or even the Chinese who were now running the show). They escape from the Slavers and are on the run from them when the father falls in a gorge and is seriously injured. The father and son are discovered by another group of people who are NOT slavers and these people decide to help them. The father is unconscious at this point and he and the son are taken to a village where life seems to not have been too affected by war or plague except for the lack of electricity. The story continues on with the trials of being in this village and focuses on the teenage boy's struggles to live with other people and abide by their ways.

I have read A LOT of these types of postwar, disaster, apocolyptic novels and this one really didn't gift me with anything new to the genre. There wasn't really enough detail about the war and "plague" (and since the title is The Eleventh Plague) you would think as a reader that you would learn how this plague started and what it exactly did to wipe out a great number of the population.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A. Hoffenberg on October 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My interest in the book: The dystopian setting, of course! I'm a sucker for a good dystopian book. I was really drawn to it because of Settler's Landing. I really love character-driven post-apocalyptic fiction, and was really interested to see how this group of people work together to build anew.

My Favorite Characters: My initial interest was in the characters, and unfortunately, my biggest issue is that I didn't really connect to the characters. *insert sad face* Sure, I felt for Stephen's situation, especially as the story progressed and certain events occurred. However, I didn't go through the book really caring, one way or another, about what happened, to anyone. That being said, my favorite characters were outcast Jenny and ADHD Derek. Those two characters felt the most real to me. I always seem to adore the secondary characters. I will say this, however. Stephen grew on me as the book progressed. His thirst for knowledge and use of art in a therapeutic way sang to me.

Worldbuilding: I loved the setting of this book! In my mind, I was picturing the movie The Book of Eli. I don't know how accurate that is to what the author was going for, but it worked for me. After China nuked USA with P11H3 - the eleventh plague - The Collapse occurred. I imagined Stephen and his father traveling long distances as they gathered up trinkets to sell, road hunters that search the lands for slaves, people searching for a semblance of hope in the company of others. The world was definitely a lot more interesting to me than the story or characters.

Lasting Impressions: I appreciated the author's inclusion of racism/discrimination towards Jenny, and it reminded me of how we treated Muslims after 9/11. I love when authors challenge our biases and stereotypes.
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