The Compound

( 331 )

Overview

Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they’ve become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy. No amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day. As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can’t help but wonder if he’d rather take his ...

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The Compound

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Overview

Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they’ve become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy. No amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day. As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can’t help but wonder if he’d rather take his chances outside. Eli’s father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe—really?

 

The Compound is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* “A high-wire act of a first novel, a thriller that exerts an ever-tighter grip on readers. . . . The audience will feel the pressure closing in on them as they, like the characters, race through hairpin turns in the plot toward a breathless climax.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Debut novelist Bodeen effectively builds the claustrophobic suspense with each chapter as readers slowly discover the Compound is not the refuge it seems. Combining elements of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Running Out of Time (1995) and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005), published for adults, this post-apocalyptic thriller will also pique the interest of Nancy Werlin and L.J. Adlington fans.”—Booklist

“Suspenseful and riveting, this debut novel raises serious issues about what it means to survive.”—Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bodeen, acclaimed as the writer of such picture books as Elizabeti's Doll, turns out a high-wire act of a first novel, a thriller that exerts an ever-tighter grip on readers. Eli, the 15-year-old son of a billionaire techno-preneur, has spent the last six years with his family in the massive underground shelter his father has built, knowing that nuclear war has destroyed the world he knows-and killed his grandmother and his twin brother, who couldn't reach the compound in time. With nine years to go before the air outside will be safe to breathe again, the food supply shows signs of running out, but Eli's father has a solution-provided they jettison all morals and ethics. Repulsed and already suspicious, Eli begins investigating his father's claims, and sets up a family death match against a man who grows increasingly irrational and sinister but no less powerful. As far-fetched as the premise may be, Bodeen keeps Eli's actions true to life and uses clues planted fairly and in plain sight. The audience will feel the pressure closing in on them as they, like the characters, race through hairpin turns in the plot toward a breathless climax. Ages 12-up. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

Following a nuclear holocaust, nine-year-old Eli and his family race into the underground compound his billionaire father created in this post-apocalyptic novel (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends, 2008) by S.A. Bodeen. The hatch is slammed shut, but without Eli's twin and their grandmother. The family must stay underground for 15 years until the radiation levels are safe. Fast forward six years and Eli is beginning to have some doubts, as do his two sisters and mother. They have trusted their father, but now he is behaving strangely. Eli believes that his father created the entire scenario as some kind of sick hoax, right down to cloning and creating human babies, The Supplements, who might actually be needed someday as a food supply. Repulsed and frightened, Eli teams with his sisters, his mother, and The Supplements in a race to discover what is really going on, what happened that fateful night, and how to escape the powerful madman who has them trapped. Suspense galore is brought to life by Christopher Lane's masterful reading, fraught with tension, anger, and a gamut of powerful emotions. The taut, fast-moving plot will grip listeners.-Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY

Kirkus Reviews
A teen questions the world his father has created and finds some shocking answers. Fifteen-year-old Eli and his family live in the Compound, a state-of-the-art underground shelter designed by their billionaire father to withstand a nuclear attack and protect them for the "next fifteen years in luxurious comfort." After six years of isolation, Eli still thinks about his twin brother Eddy and his grandmother, who were "accidentally" left behind the fateful night his father herded everyone else into the Compound and locked the door. Eli wonders why his mother keeps producing children, why his father stays in his locked study and why certain supplies are running out. When Eli unexpectedly connects to the Internet, he discovers his father has sealed them away from the real world. As his awareness of reality grows, Eli matures from a callow kid into a caring person who knows it's up to him to save his family. Suspenseful and riveting, this debut novel raises serious issues about what it means to survive. (Fiction. 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312578602
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 43,438
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

S.A. Bodeen is the author of The Gardener and several picture books, including Elizabeti’s Doll, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award. The Compound earned her an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults, a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, and a Publishers Weekly "Flying Start." Bodeen grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Her first friends were cows, which she named after characters in books. From there she went on to be a Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa, and has lived in seven states, as well as a remote Pacific island. She adores books and is a big fan of cheese. She lives in Oregon.

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Read an Excerpt

I knew what had happened that night. We had been prepared. Other kids got bedtime stories about fairies and dogs. We fell asleep with visions of Weapons of Mass Destruction dancing in our heads. . .

Dad gripped my shoulders and pulled me away from the silver door, twisting me around to follow the rest of my family. What was left of it. I clung to my father’s hand. He rushed ahead of me, his hand dropping mine.

I lifted my hand to my face. It reeked of fuel.

The corridor ended. We paraded through an archway strung with twinkling white lights, then entered an enormous circular room. The place reminded me of a yurt we’d built in school, but about 80 times bigger. The curved walls were made of log beams; the same type which criss-crossed over our heads in an intricate pattern. The roundness of the room was odd yet comforting . . . Dad flicked a switch.

A plasma television dropped down from the ceiling, blank monitor glowing. “I figured we’d be in here a lot.” The blue from the television tinted Dad’s face and blonde hair in a garish way. He startled me when he threw his arms out to the side. “Cozy, yes? What do you think?”

“It’s not what I expected.” Mom’s voice was shaky.

Dad rubbed his jaw. “What did you expect?”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 331 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(201)

4 Star

(69)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(15)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 334 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 10, 2011

    allnighter!!!

    I just couldnt put this one down. Looking for something to quench my insatiable thirst after the hunger games trilogy, the maze runner and ender's game--this one did it! Very well written. Short enough and quick enough in plot development to keep any reader's attention at all times, and yet chock full of enough detail to paint a full and everlasting picture without getting bogged down in it. A satisfying quick fix for a newly addicted sci-fi/fantasy/future dystopic society junkie!

    37 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    worst book of my LIFE!

    okay so ive read a LOT of books in my life. not to brag or anything. and ill take a lot of odd ideas and diction. But this book here... its honestly the second worst book ive read in my life. the grammar was terrible to the point i rarely knew what the author was trying to convey, and many of the ideas weren't explained like the "supplements". Also i dont know about the rest of ya'll but i like when the main character is half-way decent. I mean faults are okay, but dang! All the children have cringworthy attitudes! When i first got it i was excited. By the third chapter i was confused. Bodeen has a lot of work to do as an author. Do not waste your money on this book.

    14 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good, good book...

    I don't know what to say about this book. Read the synopsis of the book on B&N and then dive in! A little bit of a cliche, but with some unexpected turns thrown in!

    11 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2011

    Awesome plot!

    It's an excellent book. Very read-able if you're into incredible plot twists, confinement, rich guys, nuclear fallout, cliffhangers, and inhuman experiments. I was flippin' papers all night. I'd recommend it for ages 13+.

    -Michael McBride
    Timber Creek High School Class of 2012

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Definitely a Great Book

    I have recently read "The Compound" for a certain project. It was a good, mysterious book about a boy named Eli. At the beginning of the novel, he is nine years old. There was 'apparently' a disaster going on with nuclear explosions, so his dad took his family to escape to a secret compound. The compound is very safe, and no one can open it without a secret code, although no one even knows about it. Eli's brother, Eddy, and their grandma are left behind, so they are seemingly dead.
    In my opinion, "The Compound" is a great story. It gives you an intense image while reading. As more secrets are discovered, the reader would want to keep reading. There are many twists and turns to the story, as well as many unexpected outcomes.
    This is a great story to try out. "The Compound" will entertain almost all readers with its mysterious nature and excitement. Here is one little spoiler: everything is a total lie. Given that, and the plot summary above, you'd really be wondering how things could work out. I'll tell you only one thing, just read the story.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Crazy in luv with this book

    I dont care if im a girl and luv these kind of books its the ONLY ones ill read and they r the BEST!!!

    8 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    Kind of a good read

    What can I say bout this one... It certainly was strange and can be very engaging. The story moves fast, perhaps too fast, and it has plenty of twists that you don't see coming. However, I don't think I'll be reading this one again.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Anonymous

    This book is one of the best books i have ever read. It is amazingly well-written, with a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter. I read this book in a matter of hours! This book will appeal to all!

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    An easy read.

    This book was definitely an easy read. Some say it is slow in the beginning, however I don't completely agree. Sure there isn't much action, but it was still interesting and necessary for the plot. I do agree that everything felt a bit rushed once Eli began questioning his father and investigating. The end sequence was also rushed and left me wishing the plot was more suspenseful. Overall though, a great read and supremely interesting.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Haven't read much.

    I started this book, hoping it was good. It takes a long time to get to the point, but it really gets interesting. It's kind of disgusting about the mom's milk from her breasts, the supplements, and the cloning, but that's where I stopped. I'm not sure if I should go on; it's not really my type of book, you know?

    3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Skip it

    Illogical; crossed the line from thrilling to plain gross; inappropriate for children

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    highly recommended

    I have recently read the book The Compound, by S.A. Bodeen. I thought the book was great! It was about a boy named Eli and his family, and how they are trapped in a compound with their father. About half way through the story, which is about six years that they were trapped in the compound, Eli realizes that they need to get out. He has to go through many different "obstacles".
    Throughout the story, all the characters faced many problems. Eli faces the most problems because he is trying the hardest to get out. He punched his dad then had to take care of him, AND his mother who is feeling ill due to the baby coming. Eli also has to overcome his fear to touch the other children to help them escape. Yes, that's right. I said fear of touching other human beings. Eli has to step up and become the savior of the family and help them get out. I cannot really relate to this story because I have never been shoved into an underground world to live for sixteen years. Also, I don't have any sisters, but I do have two brothers.
    My favorite part of the book was when Eli got on the computer and got in touch with Eddy. That's when it occurred to Eli that they had to get out. He put his mind to get out and he did. He helped try to give coordinates to the compound. He figured out the code with the help of his sisters and they got out of the compound. Eli and Eddy were reunited and they could never be happier. I would definitely recommend this book to another person. The person that likes action, adventure, and surprise would like this book.
    If I get the chance I will read this book a hundred more times. This is a great book and it will always be one of the greats.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    absolutely love it

    when I first read this, my mind totally exploded. this book is the best I have read out of all the other ones. you have to check this out!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    OMG A MUST REAS

    I WANT TO GIVE THIS BOOK A MILLON STARS!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Good

    This may sound dumb but I don't know it the main character is a boy or a girl. Very poor job done by the author.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Major reader

    I purchased this book because i had just recently read the Hunger Games, and loved them. I have always been into science fiction and was looking for a good read to get hooked on, just as i did with the Hunger Games trilogy. This book has plenty of twists and turns, but personally i felt like i was not in love with this book because the author did not make you feel as if you knew the characters. The story line was strange, and altogether i feel like the main thing that is lacking is details to move the story along. I was never hooked on this book, but finished because i dont like not finishing things once i start. If you are a reader that gets bored easily if nothing exciting happens at first, i dont reccomend buying this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Hii

    Okay so im torn on getting this book or not becuz i read some reviews that said it was gross and innapropriate, and some that said it was a must read. Im 12 and am kind of scared to buy it...any thoughts??

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    A great nail-biting mystery that can assure yourself that this book is a wonderful page turner.

    This book is a heart-pumping experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole ride. There are many twists and turns as young adult Eli's world is abruptly stopped from living the rich and easy life style. He must now learn to adapt to his new lifestyle, trust family, and enter the compound to escape a nuclear fallout. He must now find out is he safe, or sorry?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    Good Book

    I give this book two thumbs up!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    highly recommended - you must check it out!!

    when i went to the liberary this summer i was really indecisive picking a book. when i saw this book the story was detailed and very well written. you learn that the father of a very rich family builds a nuclear bomb shelter to fit his family for 15 years after the explosion. he predicts a nuclear war and gets his loved ones into the compound. most of them.out of dad, mom, lexie, eddy, gram, the narrater eli, and his sister, eddy and gram dont make it. the rest will live in the compound for 15 years. what will it be like when they get out? will there be any survivors? how does eli occasionally get a signal on his laptop? read "the compound" by S.A Boden to find out.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 334 Customer Reviews

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