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Age of Miracles

Book cover

August 20, 2013

Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker: This is the way the world ends: by gradually slowing down. When scientists reveal that the earth’s rotation has been extended by 56 minutes, there is a minor panic. Twelve-year-old Julia doesn’t really recognize what’s happening—sure, her drama-queen mother starts hoarding food, and she loses some school friends when their families leave town, but at first, life seems to go on as usual. Until the slowdown continues, and it isn’t only by an hour anymore—the days keep stretching, with no apparent return to normal. The world’s governments agree to keep “clock time,” forcing everyone to stick to a 24-hour schedule, despite sunrise and sunset. Rebels known as “real-timers” are ostracized and harassed. Some people become afflicted with “slowing syndrome,” leaving them disoriented and prone to passing out, including Julia’s mother, who causes a fatal accident due to a fainting spell. Studies document an increase in impulsive behavior in others, and those seemingly unaffected by the slowing find themselves making bad decisions. All of this has an impact on Julia, who sees her parents, teachers, and neighbors crumbling around her. All at once a coming-of-age story and a tale of a frightening possible future, this is a gem that will charm readers as well as give them the shivers. - Booklist

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