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American War: A novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 4, 2017

4.1 out of 5 stars 721 ratings

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Product description

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of April 2017: American War will give you chills. Set in in 2075, Omar El Akkad's debut presents a fractured and frightening America, where the sun burns hot and the country has turned into war zones and refugee camps. Over the course of two decades, Akkad traces the fate of the Chestnut family, who flee their home in the south and spend the better part of their lives in a sprawling, impoverished encampment. This is where Sarat, a young, brave, tomboy, comes of age: “Perhaps the longing for safety was itself just another kind of violence—a violence of cowardice, silence, submission. What was safety, anyway, but the sound of a bomb falling on someone else’s home?” Albert Gaines, a radicalized Southerner, takes Sarat under his wing, equipping her with the fervor and tactics needed to win the war. Akkad piercingly describes the ravaged towns, the gel packets of fruit rations, the torturous effects of growing up in war. Written with precise care for the fictional truth—news articles, press releases, and oral histories emerge throughout – the book sounds a warning blast. American War is a disquieting novel of immense depth, and possibly a classic of our time. --Al Woodworth, The Amazon Book Review

From School Library Journal

Benjamin Chestnut, a historian of the Second U.S. Civil War (2075–93), chronicles the life and times of his aunt Sarat. When he first meets her, she is a stoop-backed woman who hides in the shed behind his house, sleeps on the floor, and speaks to no one. When readers first meet her, she is a feisty six-year-old, ready to take on the world. And what a world it is: climate change has created sea rise that wiped out both U.S. coasts for miles inland, and searing heat burns the soil so that food must be brought in from foreign shores. Sarat is caught in the middle of a burgeoning war between the states, based on Northern demands that the South give up fossil fuels. This hardship breeds resentment, and violence seeps into Sarat's life. The girl's mother insists they leave their home in Louisiana for points north, but they make it only as far as the refugee camp at the border of the northernmost Southern state. Here, Sarat learns her cultural history from those who recruit her to serve the South. Interspersing the work with news, government reports, and interviews, Benjamin describes Sarat's growing resistance, willingness to fight fiercely, and subsequent capture and torture. Twenty years later, when Benjamin meets her, she is broken but unrepentant; Sarat serves up one last horrible act of revenge to ensure victory for the South. VERDICT Give this fascinating, terrifying dystopian novel to mature or politically or environmentally minded teens, who will undoubtedly connect events in 2017 with those of the 2070s.—Connie Williams, Petaluma High School, CAl

Product details

  • Lexile Measure : 890L
  • Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
  • ISBN-10 : 0451493583
  • Hardcover : 352 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0451493583
  • Product Dimensions : 6.7 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Publisher : Knopf (April 4, 2017)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 721 ratings
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