Thursday, April 16, 2009

Operation Retirement Rescue (1)--Fire-Us Trilogy by Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher

So, Adele over at Persnickety Snark came up with a great idea to showcase some older titles for once instead of focusing only on new and upcoming books. I like the idea of trying to blend the old with the new, so I decided to jump on board.

My first pick is a series I read years ago the Fire-Us Trilogy. The first book, The Kindling, came out in 2002 from HarperCollins.

Here's the description:

It is the year 2007.

The world has been wiped out by a deadly plague that killed all the adults. Without them, children perished of hunger and disease. No more people, no more electricity, no more civilization -- just mildewed houses, overgrown yards, and abandoned cars. Yet on a highway strip outside a small town in Florida, the words "We're Still Here" are painted in letters big enough to be seen from an airplane -- although no planes ever cross the empty sky.

Miraculously, seven children have survived among the ruins. They cannot remember their names, their families, or much else from the Before Time. But they have forged a new family, with new names: Mommy, Hunter, Teacher, Action Figure, Teddy Bear, Baby, and Doll.

They must face each day with enough hope to endure and the strength to realize that there may be nothing out there worth living for. Then one day, a new kid shows up on their doorstep and changes everything. He invites them to join him on a dangerous journey to Washington, to find a man called President if he's still alive -- and seek the answers to the mystery at the heart of the Fire-us.

In this first book of the Fire-us Trilogy, Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher weave a compelling post-apocalyptic tale, luring readers into a world that is inventive enough to intrigue, yet true enough to believe.

I've always been a fan of apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic and dystopian writing. It seems like sort of a downer, but it's a genre that I continue to be attracted to. I think maybe it's the idea that in the midst of utter anarchy, people still find a way to survive. That comforts me.

This is a fantastic series. It takes a look at how children can survive on their own, raising one another and creating their own reality. These books are wonderfully written and there are lots of plays on vocabulary as we see kids who've had no adults to teach them figure out language in their own way. For example, Virus becomes Fire-Us.

I can't recommend these books highly enough; a little bleak, yes, but also uplifting and incredibly moving. Only problem? They are out-of-print, at least I know the first one is, so it may be hard to track them down.

The series is:
Book One: The Kindling
Book Two: The Keepers of the Flame
Book Three:The Kiln

Thanks Adele for giving me a reason to take another look at some old books that deserve a second chance.


  1. That one seems interesting, pity that is out of print :(

  2. I know...I hate that it's out of print. It seems to happen so quickly these days.

  3. Awesome idea! There are so many "old" books that need recognition :)

    I haven't heard of this series, but I will have to check it out! It sounds really interesting!

  4. I love the idea of giving some love to older books.

    Great idea!

  5. this sounds kind of like the maximum ride series in that it's a group of kids trying to survive. i'll have to find it and give it a try

  6. What a cool idea!! Too many older books don't get any attention whatsoever.