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A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer
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A Matter of Days

by Amber Kizer

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After a virus wipes out 90% of the population, Nadia and her brother decide that they have to travel across the country to find their military uncle who has been preparing for such an event and will help them survive. ( )
  JRlibrary | Aug 26, 2014 |
I love survival stories and I completely appreciated that there are NO ZOMBIES in this one! It is quite gruesome so you may want to apprise your younger readers of this. A very exciting survival story that can be emotionally difficult to read at times, but, unfortunately, true to life. ( )
  amandacb | Apr 2, 2014 |
Sixteen year old Nadia covers her mother's body tenderly as her brother- Rabbit finishes packing the jeep for a cross country trip hopefully to safety and family. The epidemic Blustar has wiped out everyone in their town, in most of the world actually. The kids are lucky (?) though, as their uncle is a military doctor who has worked on special projects over the past several years to develop vaccines against germ warfare and has helped them prepare. Their deceased father was a soldier who taught them many survival techniques, enabling them to " be the cockroaches' and survive the after effects of disaster. While meeting up with many undesireables, they also meet up with former LA's and current "Zacksville's" Zack and 2 pets who they adopt as they head east. Do they really stand a chance in this new world with all of its horrors? Can they find their family thousands of miles away? Will they even be alive? Recommended for grades 7 & up. 276 pages. ( )
  sgrame | Feb 18, 2014 |
This novel is a 2014 Lone Star selection. I would say this is a dystopian novel although it isn’t like the Hunger Games where one is fighting the government. Instead, it’s a story of survival in the face of no government.

In a matter of months, over 95% of the Earth’s population has died from a virus that was accidentally unleashed by a foreign country. Nadia and her brother, Rabbit, have stayed inside their home nursing their mom and preparing to leave once most people have died. Their uncle visited a few months ago and gave them a shot that would hopefully keep them from contracting the virus. Unfortunately, their mom didn’t get the virus in time. She finally succumbs, dying. Rabbit and Nadia are on their own. Waiting for most people to die makes the journey they must take a little safer. They are to travel from Seattle, Washington, to West Virginia where their grandfather and uncle have a bunker. Nadia doesn’t even know how to drive. Rabbit may be younger, but he is smart and has been preparing the car while Nadia has been nursing their mom. They are ready to leave.

The novel is about their journey as they encounter good and bad people who are trying to survive in their own ways. Their dad was in the military before he died and he always told them to “be the cockroach. Survive the effect, not the cause.” This advice keeps them alive as they must make difficult choices in order to live. ( )
  acargile | Jan 28, 2014 |
Amber Kizer's A Matter of Days has a deceptively simple plot: a virus has swept the country, leaving the majority of the population dead, and a small number of shell-shocked survivors in its wake. Nadia and Rabbit, who watched their mother die a painful death from the virus, called BluStar because of the blue bruising that forms as the victim's blood hemorrhages beneath the skins surface, are two of those survivors. They're survival had very little to do with luck. Before the virus took hold, Nadia's uncle sent her a cryptic messages urging that she, Rabbit, and her mother administer shots he sent, with no explanation other than a mysterious and chilling insistence of importance. Nadia and Rabbit immediately followed through, but, by the time their mother complied it was too late. Now, left alone, the siblings set out to fulfill their uncles command that they make their way across the country to their estranged grandfather's well-stocked bunker in West Virginia. Thus begins a journey filled with danger, chance encounters, and a chilling look at the destruction BluStar has wrought in only a matter of days.

One of the things that sets A Matter of Days apart from other post-apocalyptic literature is how little introduction the plot requires. The premise set forth by this novel is one of the most realistic in that it was far to easy to imagine events actually occurring. There is no long, drawn out downfall from the time BluStar strikes to their decimation of most of the human population. As the title implies, it really is only a matter of days until the entire world is forever changed. Because the effects are so immediate, it was terrifying how easily the reader could put themselves in Nadia and Rabbit's shoes. Just imagine if next week, your entire family had died in front of you. Your classmates? Dead. Your neighbors? Gone. Electricity? Running water? Fresh food? Gone, gone, gone.

The main characters are what can only be described as typical. Nadia and Rabbit weren't especially close before BluStar, but nothing creates a bond like living through the near annihilation of the human race. The fact that the main characters are siblings adds a compelling and fresh dynamic within post-apocalyptic genre: the two can trust one another. There is no doubt that they have each others' backs... So, while they definitely encounter survivors that are scary and untrustworthy, as long as they're together, they always have someone to trust. Comparing Nadia and Rabbit's experience to the other survivors they encounter during their cross-country (family) road trip(from hell) was exceedingly interesting. One sad soul they encounter appeared to have literally lost her mind, left alone and completely unable to cope, she'd suffered a complete break from reality.

While Nadia and Rabbit are in many ways typical of people their age, they have unique advantage: Be the cockroach. Their grandfather, an intense conspiracy theorist, had been convinced for years that they end of days was approaching. If anyone was prepared for something like BluStar, it was him. Their father, in addition to being raised by a man obsessed with preparing for such an event, was in the armed forces, and impressed upon Nadia and Rabbit the importance of being able to adapt. To be survivors instead of statistics. Armed with the advice of their father, the siblings are as prepared as they'll ever be to survive.

Fans of post-apocalyptic stories will appreciate the straight-forward nature of Kizer's A Matter of Days and the intelligence and common sense of Nadia and Rabbit. Action, introspection, and haunting encounters fill the pages of this well-executed tale. ( )
  thehidingspot | Sep 16, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385739737, Hardcover)

   On Day 56 of the pandemic called BluStar, sixteen-year-old Nadia's mother dies, leaving her responsible for her younger brother Rabbit. They secretly received antivirus vaccines from their uncle, but most people weren't as lucky. Their deceased father taught them to adapt and survive whatever comes their way. That's their plan as they trek from Seattle to their grandfather's survivalist compound in West Virginia. Using practical survival techniques, they make their way through a world of death and destruction until they encounter an injured dog; Zack, a street kid from Los Angeles; and other survivors who are seldom what they seem. Illness, infections, fatigue, and meager supplies have become a way of life. Still, it will be worth it once they arrive at the designated place on the map they have memorized. But what if no one is there to meet them?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:37 -0400)

In the not-too-distant future when a global pandemic kills most of humanity, a teenaged girl and her younger brother struggle to survive.

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