Sarah's Stars

Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville.
Armageddon Summer

Harcourt Brace, $5.99  ISBN: 0-15-202268-6  266pg.
Reviewed by Sarah

When Marina's mom gets a "revelation," it causes a major disturbance in her household.  I mean, they are religious and go to church every Sunday, and that sort of thing, but really believing is a lot more than just going to church.  Marina's parents have been arguing a lot lately, although she had not really noticed until now - now that mom has joined "The Believers".  This means that all the kids have to Believe, too.  But dad is not into it: he does not Believe.

In a parallel plot, Jed's mother has just run off with a photographer.  He is stunned and confused.  Who would ever think that his boring, high-school science teacher of a mother would run off without a backward glance?  Jed and his father fall apart.  Jed gets a major attitude at school and his dad resorts to moping around at home and drinking.  The drinking does not make him mean, or run off, it just makes him cry all the time.  Then he hears one of Reverend Beelson's sermons, which instantaneously stops the moping and the drinking.  After all, they only have a month, only one month, until the end of the world.

Armageddon Summer is a very original book, which touches on a topic I have never read about before.  I really enjoyed this book's viewpoint on Christian religion and what it means to "Believe".  The ending was what I least suspected, but I really enjoyed it.  I thought the e-mails in the epilogue gave it a superb finale.  In my opinion, Armageddon Summer deserves a four star rating.

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