Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they’ve become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy. No amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day. As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can’t help but wonder if he’d rather take his chances outside. Eli’s father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe—really?
About the Author
S.A. Bodeen is the author of several acclaimed picture books, including Elizabeti’s Doll, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award. A native of Wisconsin, she and her husband, both Peace Corps workers, along with their two daughters, have traveled the world. Most recently, Stephanie lived in the Pacific Northwest, where she wrote The Compound and taught fiction workshops for adult education programs. Her next book, The Gardener, will be available from Feiwel and Friends in 2010.
"Bodeen, acclaimed as the writer of such picture books as Elizabeti's Doll, turns out a high-wire act of a first novel, a thriller that exerts an ever-tighter grip on readers. Eli, the 15-year-old son of a billionaire techno-preneur, has spent the last six years with his family in the massive underground shelter his father has built, knowing that nuclear war has destroyed the world he knows--and killed his grandmother and his twin brother, who couldn't reach the compound in time. With nine years to go before the air outside will be safe to breathe again, the food supply shows signs of running out, but Eli's father has a solution--provided they jettison all morals and ethics. Repulsed and already suspicious, Eli begins investigating his father's claims, and sets up a family death match against a man who grows increasingly irrational and sinister but no less powerful. As far-fetched as the premise may be, Bodeen keeps Eli's actions true to life and uses clues planted fairly and in plain sight. The audience will feel the pressure closing in on them as they, like the characters, race through hairpin turns in the plot toward a breathless climax." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Debut novelist Bodeen effectively builds the claustrophobic suspense with each chapter as readers slowly discover the Compound is not the refuge it seems. Combining elements of Margaret Peterson Haddix's Running Out of Time (1995) and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go (2005), published for adults, this post-apocalyptic thriller will also pique the interest of Nancy Werlin and L.J. Adlington fans." --Booklist
"Suspenseful and riveting, this debut novel raises serious issues about what it means to survive." --Kirkus Reviews
Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 12 - 14 years old
For Grades: 7 - 9
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 29th April 2008
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 15.24
Weight (kg): 0.36