Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Book 13 - Floodland

Book - Floodland
Author - Marcus Sedgwick
Year - 2000
Genre - Young Adult/Dystopian
Pages - 128

Working in a primary school means that I hear a lot of books read to me.  Primarily these are Oxford Learning Tree books (no, don't worry, I am not about to start blogging about the adventures of Biff, Chip and Kipper, no matter how exciting they may be), but when it comes to class books, the nature of my job, switching between classes daily, means that I never get a chance to hear the whole book.  This sort of explains why I often read books by authors such as Michael Morpurgo, who probably don't feature in a lot of other adults' reading lists - I just need to find out what happened when I wasn't there!

Well recently I have had some prolonged exposure to one particular class, and as such have been following their class book, Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick.  Ever eager, and in fear that I would move class before it was finished, today I read on and finished the thing.

It follows the story of Zoe, a girl who is accidentally abandoned by her parents when they make their desperate escape from Norwich.  Why so desperate?  Well, Floodland is set in a world where global warming has reached its peak and most of the United Kingdom is flooded, making Norwich an island.  With supplies getting low, Zoe manages to find a boat, and makes her escape to try and find her parents.

My first thought was that it is exactly the kind of book that I would have loved when I was a kid.  There is a slight fantasy element, and it feels truly like a proper adult book, but with language and content that a child would understand.  On her journey, Zoe meets the feral remains of society clambering for survival on the scraps of land - or in this case, the highground of Ely Cathedral - that remain, and seem to be primarily led by children.  There are shades of Lord of the Flies to it, and it is pretty exciting - if unusually dark - for a children's book.

Even as an adult I still found it enjoyable, and whilst my tastes have grown since I was at school to expect a thicker and deeper plot that I was given here, I think that there is still room in anyone's reading for the highly underrated world of young adult books, which are at heart, fun and enjoyable books designed to make reading fun, whilst still having some proper story behind them.


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