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Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Ashfall (edition 2011)

by Mike Mullin

Series: Ashfall (1)

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66110214,534 (3.96)61
Authors:Mike Mullin
Info:Tanglewood Press (2011), Hardcover, 476 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:read 2012, young adult, science fiction, library

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Ashfall by Mike Mullin


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English (101)  Italian (1)  All languages (102)
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CRF, survival, series
  prichter | Jul 26, 2015 |
Role Reversal, Survival,
Recommended by Tawnya
  RhondaHoward | Jul 22, 2015 |
male protagonist, survival, coming of age, end of times, inventions, escape, murder
ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2012)
Wyoming Soaring Eagle Nominee (2016)
NPR's 2011 Top 5 YA Novels
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books of 2011
YALSA Best Fiction 2011 selection
ABA 2011 New Voices Selection
ABC 2011 Best Books for Children
How I might use this book:
This book is too long for a short project or even small group project as my level, however, it would be a great recommendation for a student that likes this type of story. Projects could include: creation of book trailer, book promo poster, create additional stories for before eruption, etc. ( )
  tawnyao | Jul 19, 2015 |
Alex is home alone in Iowa - his parents and sister are visiting family in Illinois - when his house starts to burn. Neighbors Darren and Joe take him in, and they soon hear a thunderous roar and the sky fills with ash: a supervolcano under Yellowstone has gone off, leaving much of the United States in darkness. His house was most likely hit with flying debris from the volcano itself.

I enjoyed this believable survival/post-apocalyptic story. Sixteen-year-old Alex has to grow up quite a bit as a result of his experiences, fending for himself, learning as he goes in search of his family, and remaining a decent person in the midst of a crazy world. He and another character we meet later have some unique talents I really got a kick out of reading about; for instance, Alex is a black belt in taekwondo. The descriptions of violent acts were a bit much for me at times, though certainly a plausible outcome of the aftermath of such a disaster. I found the book compelling and hard to put down, and will look forward to seeing how the story continues in the trilogy. ( )
  bell7 | Jul 4, 2015 |
I read these three books following the Iowa School Librarians Association Conference in Des Moines. Mike Mullin, an Indiana author, was a featured speaker on Sunday afternoon and evening. I was so intrigued by both his encouragement to us to write and the process he used to write these stories. I am disappointed in myself for not reading these before the conference - because I have questions I would love to chat with him about!

The catalyst of these books is the eruption of the super volcano under Yellowstone National Park. There really is a volcano there and the prediction is that the eastern edge of the ashfall would be the Mississippi river. It was with that bit of information that Mullin created his story. Alex is a 16 year old boy left alone for the weekend at his Cedar Falls, Iowa home while his parents and sister travel to Apple River near Galena, Illinois. It was that Saturday afternoon that the eruption occured. Alex's house is destroyed and he barely escapes to his neighbors' across the street. This house is not safe either as civilized society quickly unravels and they are attacked by a group of youth. Alex barely escapes and decided that his only option is to travel east and find his parents.

That is the beginning. Ashfall is the story of that trek east. Everything we take for granted - water, sunlight, warmth, food, transportation - have all disappeared under the weight of the ash. And with an earthquake opening the local prison - you never know who you will find when you stop at a farm house. Alex's one amazing piece of goodluck was stopping at the home of Darla and her mom. Against Darla's better judgement she and Alex become friends and eventually they are the key to keeping one another alive.

Ashen Winter and Sunrise continue the story - and I don't really want to give too much away in my summary. Instead, I want to comment a little about how these books have affected me...I am not a doomsday person. I tend to believe that human nature will move ahead and life will remain mildly pleasant. It is almost impossible to believe that as you read these books. Life is impossible. Really impossible! Laws don't make sense anymore and so people in each enclave create their own law - at the cost of the next village down the road. It is a dark time - both literally since the sun is gone for more than a year and figuratively! These books are not fluffy reads - there is death and violence and cannabilism and general sadness - as well as love and sacrifice and hope.

The presentation by Mullin really brought the story to life as he shared about choosing the house and the road that Alex would follow. He pictured these places as he wrote each part of the book. I found that fascinating! As a reader I set the books in a known place - so to think of this for the writer also is really interesting! Mullin was very approachable and welcomed questions from the librarians and the students he talks to.

I would love to chat with someone after reading these books. I would like to trade stories and thoughts and preparedness!! Highly recommend these! ( )
  kebets | Jun 7, 2015 |
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Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.
—Will Durant
For Margaret, my Darla
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I was home alone on that Friday evening.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years, and it will erupt again, changing the Earth forever.

Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when the supervolcano erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away.

Along the way, Alex struggles through a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter. When an escaped convict injures Alex, he searches for a sheltered place where he can wait—to heal or to die. Instead, he finds Darla. Together, they fight to achieve a nearly impossible goal: surviving the supervolcano.

With nonstop action, a little romance, and realistic science, debut author Mike Mullin tells a mesmerizing story. Readers will turn Ashfall’s pages breathlessly, and continue to ponder Alex and Darla’s fate long after they close the book.
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After the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano destroys his city and its surroundings, fifteen-year-old Alex must journey from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Illinois to find his parents and sister, trying to survive in a transformed landscape and a new society in which all the old rules of living have vanished.… (more)

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