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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,731 ratings  ·  528 reviews
What if the bomb had actually been dropped? What if your family was the only one with a shelter?

In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies t
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Candlewick Press (first published May 1st 2012)
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Karen Argie New York. It states in the book that the dad works in New York City and takes a train from the suburbs.

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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,731 ratings  ·  528 reviews

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Rebecca McNutt
A shocking, brutal yet deeply important story of desperation, selfishness and human nature coupled with straight-up fear, Fallout is reminiscent of The Twilight Zone's episode "The Shelter" but is unique in how it expands on themes of Cold War terror and how it affected the minds and behavior of everyone as a whole.
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
This was such a fascinating read!

I have always loved history - I took 3 history classes in my final year of high school even though none of them were required! It's so interesting to me to see the decisions our ancestors have made and how they affected their own society and then ours. This book felt like a really interesting and quick history lesson; an insight into something new and important.
The Cold War period was a scary one. The constant threat of mutually-assured destruction left people l
4 1/2 stars, actually. I challenge any reluctant reader to be able to put this book down! But I would be cautious about which kids I recommend this book to. Besides the horror of the bomb actually being dropped, there is some other content involving Playboy, kids drinking wine, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed this book though. It reminds me of the Life as We Knew It series.
Nov 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
My overall opinion of Fallout was, "ugh." I've never really liked Todd Strasser, but I especially didn't like this book. I wanted to abandon the main character less than halfway through, and I thought everyone in the book was a little farfetched. I also didn't like the message Strasser put out--that Russia could have and would have nuked the United States. Some of his descriptions and facts weren't exactly accurate (I've done research on this stuff) and the actions the main character, Scott, and ...more
Brody Ferko
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book has two different perspectives of one were the H-Bomb hit and they have to survive in their shelter under ground for a month, the other perspective is were the H-Bomb doesn't hit and they are very prepared for it to hit them.
Laura Harrison
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Love Todd Strasser; this book-not so much. I kept reading because I thought something exciting and amazing was right around the corner. Sadly, it was not.
Medeia Sharif
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
It’s the early sixties and people are worried about the Cuban missile crisis, the Soviet Union, and communism. Scott’s dad does something no one else in their neighborhood is doing. He’s building a bomb shelter. This causes their family to receive strange looks and questions. Scott gets through the questioning and teasing, because the nation is going through a scary time and he believes in what his father is doing to protect them.

In reality, the crisis never happened, but in this novel it does.
Sunil Laxman
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I read this one during my summer internship. It seemed like a short read that wouldn't be too heavy, and Fallout was just that!

I loved the premise. The Plot is set in 1962, where there is a huge risk of nuclear war. Scott's dad, Richard, is the only one in the neighborhood who builds a bomb shelter. The others are certain the worst won't happen - until it does. How everyone works together to brave the fallout is the rest of the story.

The book isn't large by any means, but it goes through a lot o
Steve Cohen
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's 1962, the height of the Cold War, only in this alternative version of history, atom bombs actually go off. Eleven-year old Scott and his family seek safety in a home-made bomb shelter. Others, their neighbors without shelters of their own, try to get in. There's only enough emergency supplies for Scott's family. But these are their friends trying to save themselves, banging on the shelter door. From this heart-pounding beginning, the story unfolds in alternating chapters as Scott describes ...more
Fallout is a book that will make you think about how life used to be, how your great grandparents used to live growing up, and what they did as a kid without having technology. The author made the book very interesting where he made each chapter in different times one would be in present, and the other in the past. One chapter was the time before the bombs came down, and the other chapter being when Russia bombed the U.S. and how everybody was in grave danger. I thought this book was really good ...more
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another great book! It's set in 1962 during the Cold war. Everyone is afraid of that a nuclear bomb is going to fall and kill them. That, of course, didn't happen, but this book shows what the life of a normal family would have been. I think most people don't realise how hard life must have been back then. Imagine waking up every morning, knowing that this might be your last day to live. Horrible, isn't it? And what if the bomb had really really fallen? How many people would have died?
This book
David Etkin
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fascinating--and terrifying-- re-envisioning of the Cuban Missile Crisis told through the eyes of a 12 year old whose father was the only one in the neighborhood to preparefor nuclear war.

What if the crisis wasn't averted?

The bunker scenes are frightening--they would make a great play--like ANNE FRANK or 12 ANGRY JURORS. Multiple personalities struggling in close quarters.

Great tie-in with Z FOR ZECHARIAH.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book after my 12 yr old recommended it. I found it to be interesting and very well written. I'm looking forward to more by this author and more recommendations from my young reader.
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Her sobs grow louder, and Mrs. Shaw hugs her and says it's going to be okay. But that can't be true. There's a nuclear war and Mom's bleeding and too many people are already in the shelter and more are trying to get in."


Fallout was unsettling, but downright amazing!!

Alright, Fallout is a very unique book.

Has anyone heard of the Cold War? The rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. The arms race, where each side stocked up on weapons and missiles and bombs. The Cuban missile
Richie Partington
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie's Picks: FALLOUT by Todd Strasser, Candlewick, September 2013, 272p., ISBN: 978-0-7636-5534-1

"Yes we're gonna have a wingding
A summer smoker underground
It's just a dugout that my dad built
In case the Reds decide to push the button down."
-- Donald Fagan, "The New Frontier"

"The Russians were evil. Their chubby bald-headed leader, Nikita Khrushchev, had crooked teeth and an ugly gap between the front two, which showed that Russians didn't even believe in orthodontia. And if that didn't make
Andrew Titze
I started out liking this book, but as I kept reading it really messed with my mind. It's so depressing and really just sucks the hope out everything. I do not recommend this book at all.
Sam Plunkett
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fallout is a fictional novel written by popular teen writer Todd Strasser. Fallout is a fictional book about a kid named Scott and his life in America during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book takes place in a suburban neighborhood in the United States of America. The plot of Fallout is a little confusing because every chapter switches between before the bomb went off and inside the shelter. Anyways, Scott is a young boy who lives in America during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Scott is a pretty typ ...more
I really, really, really wanted to like this book. I love the concept: it is the 1960s and presents an alternate history whereupon the US and Soviet Union go to nuclear war as opposed to the near miss that happened in actuality. The chapters alternate back and forth from the time before the bomb dropped to life in the family's bomb shelter, but the way Strasser writes, this just seems disjointed and clunky as a narrative arc. As a pretty seasoned reader, I was able to negotiate these narrative s ...more
Jaeden Hsu
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Book Review of Fallout By Todd Strasser
In Fallout, Todd Strasser wrote about a boy named Scott who is trying to survive Russian bombings with his family. As bombings go off by his area, Scott and his family try to go into their secret basement which protects them from bombings and radiation, but his mom fell while trying to go down the ladder leaving her with injuries. The so called, “secret basement,” was actually the talk between the neighbors, and so Scott’s neighbors broke into the basement
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was my second Todd Strasser book, after reading Boot Camp and not really enjoying it, I heard about this book which was at the time soon to be released, and grabbed a copy from my library.

So Fallout is set in 1962, and the threat of a nuclear war is high. The story follows Scott.

Scott and his family are the only people with a bomb shelter.
And then the unthinkable happens, a nuclear bomb went off.

A lot of things happen after that, a lot of it is really sad. But read it!!

The story follows
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Every once in a while, there will be a day when I literally do not leave the house -- not for the mail, not for a walk, not for anything at all. By the middle of the next day, I am feeling fidgety and off-kilter, and escape the confines of this (large-ish) house by whatever means necessary.

There is a word for this feeling: cabin fever. It exists.

Now imagine being forced into an enclosed basement bomb shelter for an unknown time period, not only with your family but a few interlopers as well. Th
So I'm incredibly confused. Why are people labeling this as middle grade?! While Fallout is told from the perspective of an eleven year old, I really don't know if this is on the same level of some of the other clearly marked middle grade books. And this is definitely not dystopian. This is apocalyptic, an alternate history if the Cuban Missile Crisis had not been averted and hydrogen bombs had been deployed.

The story begins with the kids being woken up and rushed to the family's bomb shelter. B
Heather Turiello
Todd Strasser's Fallout almost reads like a short story. It starts with Scott and his family rushing to get down into their bomb shelter, as missile sirens sound. In this alternate history, the Cuban Missile Crisis leads to the bombing of the US. Scott's dad has stocked the shelter for the four of them for two weeks, but when the alarms sound, two uninvited neighbor families force their way into the shelter, too. The story spans only a couple weeks and focuses on the dynamics of these survivors ...more
Everyone in the neighborhood made fun of Scott's dad when he started building the bomb shelter. Sure, everyone knows the threat of the Russians, but it would be mutually assured destruction--so while the Russians COULD destroy the US, they definitely WOULDN'T.

Until the night they do. The October night when Scott's dad wakes him up and ushers the whole family into the bomb shelter--and then tries in vain to hold the door shut against the neighbors who are also trying to get in. The shelter was o
PEI Public Library Service
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
In Fallout, Todd Strasser re-imagines the Cuban Missile Crisis, an event he actually lived through as a child. In spite of the ridicule of his neighbours and the disapproval of his wife, Scott’s father builds a bomb shelter in his family’s backyard. However, when atomic bombs are dropped in the middle of night, those same neighbours force their way into the shelter with Scott’s family, endangering everyone’s survival by stressing crucial supplies of food, water, and air. Told from twelve-year-ol ...more
Hudson Spenhoff
May 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Fallout (By:Todd Strasser) review:
Fallout is during the summer of 1962 and involves a young boy named Scott and his friends who are all haunted by the idea that they could be dead in a day because of a nuclear bomb. Scott‘s dad is always preparing for the worst such as a nuclear war. He built a bomb shelter and filled it with the things necessary for his family to survive. In the middle of the night the area they live in is attacked and everyone. Because Scott‘s dad was the only one who prepared
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Fallout, by Todd Strasser is about a young boy who lived in the time when the only thing anyone could think about, was “I could be dead tomorrow.” It was 1962, when the threat of a nuclear war was always hanging overhead. And the only one in the neighborhood who was prepared for the worst was Scott’s dad. Even though the neighbors thought it was pointless, Scott’s dad built a bomb shelter and stocked it with just enough supplies for his family. But when the time comes, and the bomb’s actually do ...more
Nov 15, 2017 added it
Fallout by Todd Strasser follows the main character Scott through his life in 1962. The book covers what would have happened had there been a nuclear war. Due to Scott and his family being extra precautious in the months leading up to the presumed attack, they happen to be one of the only families to build a bomb shelter in their yard. When the US is attacked, suddenly everyone wants to gather in the bomb shelter and it becomes overcrowded. Throughout the story, Scott and his neighbors in the bo ...more
Laura Phelps
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: possiblemsba2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Scott's Mother's Injury 2 25 Dec 27, 2015 08:29AM  
Choices always and so a that's kind of report 1 6 Nov 09, 2015 10:36PM  
If the bomb was really dropped… 2 16 Jan 30, 2015 03:49AM  
Fallout Review 1 6 Jun 05, 2014 11:57AM  
One of only the non-assigned book I've ever read and enjoyed 1 4 Jun 05, 2014 11:37AM  
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Todd Strasser is an American author of more than 130 young-adult and middle grade novels and novelizations, some written under the pen names Morton Rue and T.S.Rue

Todd was born in New York City. When he was young his parents moved to Roslyn Heights, New York (Long Island). Todd went to the I.U. Willets Elementary school and then attended the Wheatley School for junior high and high school. His bes
“I’d learned a little about nuclear war from duck-and-cover air-raid drills at school, but most of what I knew about the Russians came from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show on TV.” 1 likes
“Sky King,” 1 likes
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