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American War: A Novel

By: Omar El Akkad

A second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—this story asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.

ISBN: 9780451493583

JLG Release: Jul 2017


Sensitive Areas: Language: Strong Language, Discrimination: Reference/Discussion, Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War, Violence: Mild Violence, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse, Violence: Torture
Topics: Dystopian futures , Civil War , United States , Climate change , Torture

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Awards & Honors

2017 Indie Next List Preview
ALA 2018 Notable Books List, Fiction
Goodreads Choice Awards 2017, Debut Authors
The Washington Post Books We Love So Far in 2017
Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence, 2018 Longlist, Fiction
Amazon.com Best Books of 2017, SF & Fantasy
Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2017, Adult
NPR’s Book Concierge, 2017 Great Reads
The Washington Post 50 Notable Works of Fiction 2017
Booklist 2017 Top 10 First Novels

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Benjamin Chestnut, a historian of the Second U.S. Civil War (2075—93), chronicles the life and times of his aunt Sarat. When he first meets her, she is a stoop-backed woman who hides in the shed behind his house, sleeps on the floor, and speaks to no one. When readers first meet her, she is a feisty six-year-old, ready to take on the world. A Benjamin Chestnut, a historian of the Second U.S. Civil War (2075—93), chronicles the life and times of his aunt Sarat. When he first meets her, she is a stoop-backed woman who hides in the shed behind his house, sleeps on the floor, and speaks to no one. When readers first meet her, she is a feisty six-year-old, ready to take on the world. And what a world it is: climate change has created sea rise that wiped out both U.S. coasts for miles inland, and searing heat burns the soil so that food must be brought in from foreign shores. Sarat is caught in the middle of a burgeoning war between the states, based on Northern demands that the South give up fossil fuels. This hardship breeds resentment, and violence seeps into Sarat’s life. The girl’s mother insists they leave their home in Louisiana for points north, but they make it only as far as the refugee camp at the border of the northernmost Southern state. Here, Sarat learns her cultural history from those who recruit her to serve the South. Interspersing the work with news, government reports, and interviews, Benjamin describes Sarat’s growing resistance, willingness to fight fiercely, and subsequent capture and torture. Twenty years later, when Benjamin meets her, she is broken but unrepentant; Sarat serves up one last horrible act of revenge to ensure victory for the South. VERDICT Give this fascinating, terrifying dystopian novel to mature or politically or environmentally minded teens, who will undoubtedly connect events in 2017 with those of the 2070s.—Connie Williams, Petaluma High School, CA

Book Details

ISBN

9780451493583

First Release

July 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

6" x 9"

Page Count

352

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.7; Points: 27;

Lexile

Level 890L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Knopf

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Strong Language, Discrimination: Reference/Discussion, Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War, Violence: Mild Violence, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse, Violence: Torture

Topics

Dystopian futures, Civil War, United States, Climate change, Torture,

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