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The Eleventh Plague

Cover of The Eleventh Plague

The Eleventh Plague

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In the aftermath of a war, America's landscape has been ravaged and two thirds of the population left dead from influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived. But when Stephen's grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma, Stephen finds his way to Settler's Landing, a community that seems too good to be true.

There he meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny and when they play a prank on the town bully's family that goes horribly wrong, they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler's Landing forever.

In the aftermath of a war, America's landscape has been ravaged and two thirds of the population left dead from influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived. But when Stephen's grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma, Stephen finds his way to Settler's Landing, a community that seems too good to be true.

There he meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny and when they play a prank on the town bully's family that goes horribly wrong, they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler's Landing forever.

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 2, 2012
    Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his father travel the desolate, depopulated, and despoiled landscape of what was once the United States. Ravaged by war and an enhanced form of influenza—labeled the Eleventh Plague—two-thirds of the populace are dead. Stephen and his father exist as scavengers, traversing the ruined, hostile countryside searching for anything to help keep them alive. When Stephen’s father is injured and falls into a coma, the duo is rescued by the inhabitants of Settler’s Landing, a town that seems to have escaped the ravages of war and plague. But Stephen soon learns that even the most idyllic of places can harbor darkness, hatred, and danger. Dan Bittner skillfully narrates this postapocalyptic YA novel. His reading conveys the adolescent angst and confusion of the novel’s protagonist a believable way, enabling listeners to understand Stephen’s often-misguided actions. The voices Bittner creates are unadorned and uncomplicated, while his delivery of dialogue is natural and straightforward. An entertaining listen for young adults—and the not so young. A Scholastic hardcover.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 4, 2011
    Although it relies on some increasingly common dystopian tropes, Hirsch's debut novel is an impressive story with strong characters. A generation after China released a weaponized plague on the U.S., the nation is in ruins, and 15-year-old Stephen wanders the country as a scavenger. Shortly after Stephen's grandfather dies, his father has an accident crossing a river and is incapacitated. Stephen finds himself at the small village of Settler's Landing, where a group of survivors have created an isolated haven of sorts, a far cry from the life Stephen is used to. While there, he meets Jenny, a girl of Chinese descent who is ostracized because of her race. Even as Stephen worries about his father's fate (and his own), he begins to fall for Jenny, and they are both drawn into the horrors of their world, sometimes through their own miscalculated actions. Hirsch delivers a tight, well-crafted story, and although the world-building is light on detail regarding the global cataclysm and its aftermath, most readers will be able to accept the hand-waving and enjoy the action and danger. Ages 12–up.

  • AudioFile Magazine Ten years after the U.S. has been devastated by biological warfare wrought by China, Stephen and his family survive by scavenging the American landscape. Dan Bittner skillfully embodies the teen as tragedy strikes and Stephen must suddenly fend for himself. Ending up in a real town for the first time ever, Stephen experiences conflict between his distrust of strangers and his longing for the idyllic existence he glimpses. Each outburst, each emotional shutdown, each request for help is perfectly believable when presented in Bittner's even but emotionally layered delivery. When Stephen befriends Jenny, a girl ostracized because of her Chinese heritage, a prank incites war in the town. Bittner's well-tempered narration suits both the action scenes and the moral conundrums that follow. J.M. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
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The Eleventh Plague
The Eleventh Plague
Jeff Hirsch
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