Ms. Littell's Reviews > The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
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Aug 08, 2012

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Read in August, 2012

Narrated from some point in the future, The Age of Miracles is about a young girl (sixth grade) who recounts the first year of the slowing, which is when the Earth's rotation begins to slow making each day longer, eventually having 70 hours of continuous sunlight. The government and the population of the United States have to determine how to live their lives with this new scientific reality. With longer days, of course, come longer nights, which causes confusion and difficulties. Some people and families decide that the Earth is revolting from the way it has been treated and try to live in harmony with the planet's reaction. Others, including the government, decide to try to restore as much normalcy as possible and continue on as before. Julia, the narrator, is just trying to deal with middle school and the uncertainty of friendships and maybe even a first love.

Julia's reactions and those of her family are believable and the point-of-view of someone at this age is what makes this story worth reading. I always kept trying to like the book more than I actually did just because of this nuance. There are definitely some interesting statements made about society, some which were easy for me to agree with and others that were not. What made this book not rate any higher was the lack of information about the rest of the world at this time and the lack of explanation for why. Then, the ending comes and we receive only basic information of what has happened in the ten years since the slowing began.

I would recommend this book to people who like a narrator who is reflecting back on a year in her past, realizing with hindsight some of the decisions she and her family and friends made and what she did that was worthwhile. (This type of narrating reminds me of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird; however, no other part of the book does.) The book as told by a sixth grader's perspective does not have any potential controversies not handled from that viewpoint. There is some bullying and violence toward others who take an opposing view on the slowing. This book is an easy read for those looking for a book on how a society might react to a violent and sudden environmental change.
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