The Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer

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     Space germs wipe out virtually everyone who has passed through puberty.

     Abby Leigh is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple. For months, astronomers have been predicting that Earth will pass through the tail of a comet. They say that people will see colorful sunsets and, best of all, a purple moon.

     But nobody has predicted the lightning-fast epidemic that sweeps across the planet on the night of the purple moon. The comet brings space dust with it that contains germs that attack human hormones. Older teens and adults die within hours of exposure.

     On a small island off the coast of Maine, Abby must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her — adolescence. (synopsis from Goodreads)

     This book captured my attention from start to finish.  In the beginning Abby is in school and learning about the purple moon that will occur when the Earth passes through the tail of the comet.  No one knows what the space dust will do to humans but no one believes it will cause any harm.  The scientists were right…to a degree.  Anyone who hasn’t yet reached puberty was safe but all the adults perish on the night of the purple moon.

     When Abby and her brother Jordan wake up they find their father dead.  Their baby sister Toucan is crying for breakfast and asking them to wake up their dad.  They are scared and don’t know what to do.  Soon their neighbors, Emily and Kevin, arrive and verify that their parents are dead as well.

      Kid genius Kevin is smart enough to hook up the satellite Internet connection and find out what is going on.  They hear the awful news that the space dust has killed almost all of the world’s adults.  Instead of shutting down and grieving, the foursome decide to find all the other children who are still alive on the island.

     Soon almost thirty kids are living together in a mansion and they’ve learned to grow their own food and do what they need to do to survive.  On the radio they hear that a cure is coming and will be ready within the year.  The kids are ecstatic until one of their friends hits puberty and becomes sick.  Will the vaccine be ready before anyone dies?  Even if it is ready in time will they be able to reach the land and get the pills?

     The Night of the Purple Moon was fast paced and action packed.  I was amazed by what these children were able to do when left to their own devices.  Abby is a strong leader and Kevin is the brains of the operation.  Jordan  is able to use his knowledge of sailing to help the kids.  Emily is calm and level headed.  Together they run a workable community of children.

      The kids had to live through situations that I can’t even imagine as an adult.  At times they fight and at times they don’t seem to understand what is happening but they manage to work together and get through it.  When two children arrive from the mainland they are horrified to hear what’s been happening there.  Their island is much more orderly then the chaos of the mainland.

      There were some definitely some sad parts in this book but there were also some great parts too.  A love story or two even pop up in the midst of the tragedy.  I think children and young adults would really enjoy reading this fast paced novel.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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