By Todd Strasser’74
Candlewick Press, 2013
Publishers Weekly calls Fallout an eye-opening “what if” scenario about the human response to disaster. Set in the summer of 1962 in America, the book explores a time when the threat of nuclear attack was the top concern for nearly everyone. Not everyone reacts to the Cuban missile crisis by building a fallout shelter, but the Porter family does, and they stock their underground bunker with necessities to ride out a nuclear blast and its aftermath. This is the story of what happens to the Porters and several of their neighbors who elbow their way into precious shelter space when the unthinkable actually does occur.
Todd Strasser’s chapters alternate between scenes in the shelter after the bomb is dropped, and the period before, when protagonist Scott Porter and his neighborhood buddies watch the Jetsons, steal cheesecakes from a neighbor’s garage, and do the things fifth-grade boys typically do during summer.
Strasser is a best-selling author whose books for young adults are recognized internationally. This is his most personal novel to date, inspired by his own experiences growing up with a bomb shelter under the threat of nuclear disaster.