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Armageddon Summer Paperback – July 26, 1999
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Armageddon Summer provides a front-row seat for the type of event most of us only witness on a TV screen. Reverend Raymond Beelson is gathering 144 "Believers" atop Mount Weeupcut in Massachusetts to camp out, pray, and await Armageddon--July 27, 2000--when he predicts that his faithful flock will be saved as the rest of the world is set ablaze in fire and brimstone. We experience the month leading up to this climax through the eyes of two teenagers who have never met before, Jed and Marina, each of whom have come to the compound out of a sense of responsibility toward their families. Young Jed is only on the mountain to watch over his father who "went a little crazy" after his wife left the family: "When my father told me that the world was going to end I figured he was making some sort of weird joke." Jed's sarcasm, humor, and flippancy toward the Believers does not erase the love he feels for his newly devout father, nor his capacity for empathy toward members of the congregation. Marina is a Believer, or so she tries to be, in the hope that somehow her faith will restore harmony to her family. She has traveled to the mountain with her younger brothers at her mother's fervent insistence, but her fear that her father will remain below with the rest of the nonbelievers to burn alive unnerves her.
Coauthors Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville artfully sculpt the alternating voices and perspectives of Marina and Jed, and readers will be swept up in the thoughts and emotions of these complex young people. The skillful writing raises this novel above others--these characters are immensely believable as they struggle with matters of family and faith, while maintaining a smart, convincingly adolescent outlook. Excerpts from sermons, FBI files, camp schedules, and e-mails keep the story lively and suspenseful, as the Believers begin to stockpile weapons and the media adds fuel to the flames. But perhaps more resonant than the apocalyptic ending are the careful, distinct portraits of the two teens, thrust into a frightening situation that shuttles them suddenly into adulthood. (Ages 12 to 16) --Brangien Davis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
On the heels of Paula Danziger and Ann Martin's P.S. Longer Letter Later (Children's Forecasts, Feb. 16) comes another novel (on a very different subject) co-written by a pair of popular YA authors. The two alternating narrators, Marina and Jed, are both children of religious fanatics, so-called Believers who dedicate themselves to the Reverend Beelson. The Believers have brought their families to the top of a mountain to prepare for the end of the world, only two weeks away, according to Beelson. Marina and Jed are instantly attracted to each other, even though Marina believes the world really will end and Jed thinks the whole thing is a hoax. Their different points of view?and occasional interleaved "memos" from FBI agents, excerpts from sermons, etc.?yield a multidimensional description of cult dynamics and dangers. As Beelson predicts, there is a type of Armageddon on July 27, 2000 (Marina's 14th birthday), but, as Marina sadly concludes, it is one "made by man. Not by God." Yolen's and Coville's styles and narrative voices, though different, complement each other well, so that both protagonists emerge with the same depth and the action builds smoothly and steadily. Providing action, romance and a provocative message, this novel could well get teens talking. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
That's Armageddon Summer for me.
This book follows the lives of two very different kids. Marina Marlow is a homeschooled girl who loves Emily Dickenson poems. Recently, her mom has decided to follow the beliefs of Reverend Beelson- and he says that the world will end on July twenty-seventh- and it will do so in fire. How convenient- right when Marina turns fourteen! Her mother drags Marina and her five brothers up to the mountain- the only place where God will spare people- and leave her dad to be "Fried". Marina is torn, and doesn't know what to believe.
Sixteen year old Jed is dragged up on the mountain too, but not by his mother. His mom ran off with a photographer to live in the mountains in Colorado, and he's stuck with his weepy dad, who turned to religion to cope with the devastating break up. He doesn't believe any of this crap, and has smuggled in a computer- which is against the rules.
This book details the experiences in each of their perspectives, and eventually they both notice each other. As the book progresses, they begin to know each other better.
Armageddon Summer is five stars for me- you should read it too!
Most recent customer reviews
The book starts out by introducing a religion.Read more