On My Bookshelf: This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

July 24, 2017

In This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer, it has been a year since an asteroid hit the moon, causing extreme climate change and disaster on earth. The lives of Miranda and Alex (the main characters of the first and second books in this series) will become intertwined as they try to keep their families together and continue in the struggle to survive. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.

The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.
In This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer, it has been a year since an asteroid hit the moon, causing extreme climate change and disaster on earth. The lives of Miranda and Alex (the main characters of the first and second books in this series) will become intertwined as they try to keep their families together and continue in the struggle to survive. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

Why I liked it: This World We Live In is the third book in the Life As We Knew It series. I loved the first two books in the series, Life As We Knew It and The Dead & The Gone. Both are focused on life after the same apocalyptic event caused by nature (no zombies or vampire here), but set in different places: one in rural Pennsylvania and the other in New York City. In This World We Live In, the two previous books come together. I liked the main characters of each novel, Miranda and Alex, separately, but it was strange to have them come together. The book is full of tensions due to new relationships. Set a year after the moon was hit by a meteor, the author continued to realistically portray what life might be like after such an event. Many other books and movies just show post-apocalyptic life immediately the life-altering event.


Classroom application: This novel would be appropriate for upper middle school and high school students. There are some gruesome dead body scenes and also some light romance.

As with the previous two novels, this one would be a perfect choice for literature circles themed around natural disasters, real or imagined. Cross-disciplinary connections could also be made with science. Students could research the effects of the moon on Earth (tides, plate-tectonics, stability on its axis, etc.) and how being closer to or farther from the moon would impact life on Earth. Other possible research topics would be natural disasters throughout history and the asteroids/meteors that have actually landed on Earth. Students could interview individuals who work in disaster relief or emergency preparedness to discuss short term and long term planning for disasters.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of This World We Live In for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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