In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
In a Handful of Dust

In a Handful of Dust

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by Mindy McGinnis
     
 

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Fans of classic frontier survival stories, as well as readers of dystopian literature, will enjoy this futuristic story about an epic cross-country journey.

In a Handful of Dust is set ten years after the first novel, Not a Drop to Drink, as a dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother,

Overview

Fans of classic frontier survival stories, as well as readers of dystopian literature, will enjoy this futuristic story about an epic cross-country journey.

In a Handful of Dust is set ten years after the first novel, Not a Drop to Drink, as a dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature’s challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts.

New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant says Not a Drop to Drink is a debut “not to be missed,” and this companion title is full of Mindy McGinnis’s evocative, spare language matched with incredible drama and danger. In a Handful of Dust is perfect for fans of the Partials, Enclave, and Legend series.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - James Nicosia
The companion to Not A Drop To Drink, McGinnis’s In A Handful Of Dust presents teenage Lucy and her de facto foster mother, twenty-something Lynn, confronting a new polio plague in their post-apocalyptic Ohio utopian pond world. When it turns out that both Lucy and her beau, Carter, are likely carriers of the disease, they are exiled to the wilderness—Carter by himself, Lucy with Lynn as her protector. Their destination: California, where rumors of a de-salination plant promise clean water. Newcomers to the series might require time to adjust to the in medias res opening and slightly stilted tone, a combination of 19th- and 21st-century dialects (including the occasional jarring curse), but once Lucy and Lynn take to the road, the pace improves. Almost infinite dangers await two females on the road, but Lynn’s expertise with a rifle and distrust of everyone keep Lucy safe, even when Lucy wants to make friends with strangers. The second section of the book is a haunting feminine version of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (Random House, 2006), and makes for worthy reading indeed. The third transforms the narrative into one of the better examples of the 1970’s sci-fi genre, before tying up neatly, but not too easily, in the end. McGinnis deftly avoids formulas and clichés when she could have resorted to them. As a result, this is a very satisfying journey, by turns philosophical and riveting. Reviewer: James Nicosia; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-07-16
Ten years after Not a Drop to Drink (2013), the orphan Lynn rescued is a teenager forced to set out on a dangerous, cross-country journey. Protagonist Lucy, Lynn's adopted daughter, and the expanded community have flourished in the hard-won peace. Their serenity's forever ruptured when a polio outbreak ravages their population, killing and crippling indiscriminately. The disease's spread is charted to identify the source, and Lucy's love interest is identified as the most likely, an unknowing asymptomatic carrier who now faces exile (and crippling guilt). There's a miniscule chance it could be Lucy though, so she must leave as well. Due to a sticky situation involving an unstable, paranoid woman, as well as the mother-child bond, Lynn accompanies Lucy on a dangerous trip to California, where it's rumored there are desalination plants and electricity. The two encounter multiple people of various moral standards and threat levels, nature's obstacles and, of course, the water shortage that destroyed civilization. Throughout it all, Lucy clings to her optimism, especially the hope that she can rescue her love interest. Ultimately, the novel is concerned with the differences between staying alive and living—with Lynn and Lucy, and their rich dynamic, representing both sides. Tension's maintained by constant, subtle foreshadowing (rather than transparent cliffhangers), and the characters rarely feel safe enough for readers to relax. Hard to put down. (Adventure. 13 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062198532
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/23/2014
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
316,915
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile:
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Mindy McGinnisis the author of Not a Drop to Drink and its companion, In a Handful of Dust, as well as A Madness So Discreet. A magna cum laude graduate of Otterbein University with a BA in English literature and religion, Mindy is an assistant YA librarian who lives in Ohio. You can visit her online at www.mindymcginnis.com.

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