Children of the Dust (Lions) Paperback – 11 Sep 1986
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A powerful post-nuclear holocaust novel described by the author as, 'my cry against the monstrous weapons men have made'. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Cambridge Literature is a series of literary texts edited for study by students aged 14–18 in English-speaking classrooms. It will include novels, poetry, short stories, essays, travel-writing and other non-fiction. The series will be extensive and open-ended, and will provide school students with a range of edited texts taken from a wide geographical spread. It will include writing in English from various genres and differing times. Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence is edited by Ron Middleton, Wargrave Piggott School, Reading. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
But we were lucky, we lived in Ireland many thousands of miles away. To this day, I know of families in Ireland who take in children and adults who's lives and health and community were destroyed by that atrocity.
I just wanted you to get a glimpse into why I wanted to read books about nuclear holocaust. I guess it is because fear of the unknown is awful and I needed to research as much as I could. And of all the books I read, Children of the Dust was one of the most imaginitive and well written.
In the book (which is broken into 3 parts) the author portrays the fear that is felt before the nuclear strike, how people attempt to protect themselves from the fallout afterward, and the mundaneness that sets in once safe (for now), closeted in one room with the whole family, waiting to find out 'what's next? what happen's now? when will we be able to come out?'. So scary. While the family ekes survival in the home, the husband, who is a scientist, ends up sealed in with the brains of society under a mountain. He has to deal with the angst of wondering how his family are with no way of contacting them, while at the same time coming up with strategies to overcome problems that were not foreseen when the massive nuclear bomb shelter was constructed like: ratio of females to males in continuing the species!
The last part of the story is about a girl who was born and raised in the shelter. And of course, she is curious about what lies outside...
Such a great book, I read it as a ten year old but now my fourteen year old is reading it. I would read it now as an adult, but I'm too scared!
I first read the book at eleven years of age after it was recommended to me by my teacher. At times it is a little harrowing but the text is fast paced and the sadness quickly makes way for the excitment of the 'brave new world'.
I have read this book almost every year since - and now I am the teacher reading it to my class.
Because of a few instances of bad language and a few incidents that I believe are a little upsetting (that said, the children are exposed to far worse on TV and are completely unaffected,) I have an edited copy of my own - worn and battered - that I read to the children. They love the brown pages - an original print from 1985! .
The book is divided into three parts, the first at the time of the nuclear attack, the second eighteen or so years later, and the last, a generation after that. Each characater in the book is linked to another, though they do not know this.
The text is compelling and gripping like no other book I have read.I still cry at the end when it is made clear how events are linked!
Having read all the reviews, I would like to "bring together" the different comments, if I may.
It is generally agreed that the first chapter is the best and probably the most harrowing of the three in this book. Certainly adults, reading this book for the first time, seem to think so. I know more than one who was unable to finish it, preferring to imagine that there could be a "Happy ending".
In criticism of the book, people have commented on it's simplicity of style, it's lack of continuity and, to a much lesser extent, the lack of character depth. With regard to it's simplicity, I would point out that this book is aimed at a younger reader. Don't let this put you off though. Although it is not elaborate, it is eloquent and the story is all the more chilling for it's straight forward approach. The reader who complained about the lack of continuity would have done better to continue reading. The three parts of the story do merge and compliment each other, if the reader has the patience to follow through. Books are rarely about instant gratification. The person who commented that the characters are somewhat lacking in depth did justify that lack, being due to the nature of the book as a children's novel. I agree with that comment, since novels for children tend to be short it can be difficult for an author to delve deeply into character background, especially when the novel is split, as this one is. While it might be nice to have more character depth, I don't think this is a substantial enough problem to put anybody off reading this.
One final comment which I must also agree with was the poster who mentioned the genetic mutation covered in the third story. I do think that it is highly unlikely that the human genome would completely evolve into a stable state in a matter of two or three generations. However, unlikely doesn't mean impossible and I wouldn't let that stop you from reading what is, in essence, a very good book.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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