Welcome to New York, a city ruled by teens.
After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he's secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.
The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park...and discovers truths they could never have imagined.
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Chris Weitz is the director of Twilight: New Moon, A Better Life, About a Boy, The Golden Compass, and American Pie. The Young World is his first novel.From School Library Journal:
Gr 9 Up—The premise is familiar—an apocalyptic event spares only teens who are now fighting, romancing, and wise-cracking their way to a better tomorrow. After the Sickness, survivors like Jefferson and Donna joined tribes, and now they use barter, looting, urban farming, and gunfights to get by. In his first novel, screenwriter Weitz (The Twilight Saga: New Moon) mixes clever teen slang and pop culture references with likable stock characters, such as the socially inept, brainiac, campy gay dude, and the feisty Chinese girl who's skilled at martial arts. Weitz peppers his story with such concepts as fiat currency and zoo animals in the Metropolitan Museum, as well as four-letter words and occasionally crude smack talk. When it appears that a scientific paper at the main branch of the New York Public Library might hold the secret to the Sickness, Jeff and his tribe decide to go get it. Narrator José Julián is superb as Jefferson, and Spencer Locke delivers a good (if slightly valley girl—inflected) performance as Donna. Both narrators read Weitz's screenplay-styled passages with a staccato "he said/she said" delivery, distinguishing speakers without need for a wide variety of accents or pitches. The Young World works well as an audiobook and is recommended for high school libraries.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
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