Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 12Z4.545140
What if the bomb had actually been dropped? What if your family was the only one with a shelter?

Exciting, harrowing ... This is a superb entertainment ... It thrums along with finely wrought atmosphere and gripping suspense... -- THE NEW YORK TIMES

A gripping and superbly constructed novel... There's not a word out of place in this evocative book. --- THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


Strasser once again combines terrific suspense with thoughtful depth... This riveting examination of things important to a boy suddenly thrust into an adult catastrophe is un-put-down-able. --KIRKUS (starred review)

An eye-opening "what if" scenario about the human response to disaster. --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott's dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott's dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will -- and won't -- remain when the door is opened again. Internationally best-selling author Todd Strasser has written his most impressive and personal novel to date, ruthlessly yet sensitively exploring the terrifying what-ifs of one of the most explosive moments in human history.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published on September 10, 2013 by Candlewick
ISBN-10: 0763655341
ISBN-13: 9780763655341
9 Book Reviews
  • ethanyork32
    ethanyork327 months44 stars
    The Boy at the top of the Mountain by John Boyne is a historical fiction book. Pierrot is a young boy who grew up in Paris and is sent to Bavaria which is a free state of Germany. Topics addressed in this book are Holocaust, family, racism, orphanage. The theme of this book is that one bad choice can affect your life greatly. A quote that stands out to me is one of the nazis saying “there is nothing to fear” showing that they had complete trust that Hitler and the higher up Nazis were in the right. I liked this book because it was super interesting to see how the author would portray a young boy and his life living at Hitler’s house. I would definitely recommend this book and would give it 4 out of 5 stars.
    • h4e2009
      h4e2009almost 2 years55 stars
      This is an amazing book. Some of you might think it was based on a true story but it wasn't. It was a dystopia if John F. Kennedy was never shot. And, if we never stopped the bombs. I loved this book but I suggest 11-16. It is extreme.
      • kittyqueen882
        kittyqueen882almost 3 years44 stars
        So far this book is awesome! But it is confusing at the same time
        • thatredheadxd
          thatredheadxdabout 4 years11 star
          Yo, this book is very scary! It is based on a real story, I believe. There is only one family on the street who has a bomb shelter, and when a bomb drops, they scramble for saftey, but end up cramming more ppl in there than it was mean to care for. They all suffer through the days filled with starvation and near deathness. But eventually it's over, and it was a terrible, stinky sight up above with the dead bodies left behind the the little pebbles left from the town.
          • personover 9 years
            For school, I read CON- fidence, and I hated it. it's by the same author, so should I read this?
            • hannajuku
              hannajukuover 9 years44 stars
              I've never read that book before, but I think you'll enjoy this one, only if you like scary stories that make you want to keep reading.
            • charchar28
              charchar28over 9 years
              I want to read it
              • charchar28
                charchar28over 9 years
                gman are you sure you read this book
                • gman
                  gmanover 9 years44 stars
                  Great book but kinda scary !! not in a creepy way but about what happens in war