Whilst listening to the audiobook of Life As We Knew It, Jen Robinson recently speculated aloud as to why it is that post-apocalyptic children's books are so doggone compelling. I see eye-to-eye with Jen on this one. I went through an interesting let's-read-all-the-post-apocalypse kidlit-we-can-get-our-hands-on phase three years ago. I was wolfing down Z for Zachariah, Eva (oh, it totally counts), Tomorrow When the War Began, Hole In the Sky, Noah's Castle (oh yeah, I got obscure), and more. Couldn't get enough.
Now it looks as if there is an answer to Jen's question in the L.A. Times piece, Boom times for the end of the world. Apparently 9/11 and fear mongering play a hand in the current upsurge. I recently met with the delightful Sue Stauffacher, and Sue happened to mention that her beautiful book Donuthead (one of those omigodyouhaven'treadthisyet? titles) was inspired in some small part by the fear surrounding the attack on the World Trade towers. How better to address such a concern than with a character afraid of absolutely everything? And if it comes down to deciding between a child named Franklin Delano Donuthead and a book where everyone's either died of a dread disease or been turned into bald deaf zombies, I know which one I'll pick.
Thanks to Bookninja for the link.