Not a Drop to Drink

Not a Drop to Drink

4.1 67
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 where water is worth more than gold. New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant says Not a Drop to Drink is a debut "not to be missed." With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, Mindy

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Overview

Fans of classic frontier survival stories, as well as readers of dystopian literature, will enjoy this futuristic story where water is worth more than gold. New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant says Not a Drop to Drink is a debut "not to be missed." With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl's journey in a frontierlike world not so different from our own.

Teenage Lynn has been taught to defend her pond against every threat: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and most important, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty—or doesn't leave at all. Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. But when strangers appear, the mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won't stop until they get it. . . .

For more in this gritty world, join Lynn on an epic journey to find home in the companion novel, In a Handful of Dust.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Grant
A brutally beautiful debut, not to be missed. NOT A DROP TO DRINK is an unwavering story with incredible drama, danger, and power. This writer is for real.
Kendare Blake
I can’t say enough good things about the writing, and the characterization. If you’re looking for grit, realism and heart, you found it.
Jodi Meadows
Deftly written, Mindy McGinnis’s NOT A DROP TO DRINK is a frightening picture of a potential future without fresh water, which left me ridiculously grateful for my working faucet. This post-apocalyptic survival tale is about so much more than just survival. I loved it.
Ilsa Bick
Set against the grim backdrop of an all-too-possible future, McGinnis’s very fine coming of age novel doesn’t stint on lifes hard lessons—or its triumphs. Lynn’s story is what Laura Ingalls Wilder might’ve penned if she’d traveled a frontier imagined by Cormac McCarthy.
Booklist
Those in search of fierce female survivalist characters need look no further than this.
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
The intensity of action moves the story forward, but not at the expense of character development. The complex, authentic characters are neither fully evil nor unbelievably good. The honest and hopeful ending—while not “happily ever after”—will resonate with readers and leave them asking for more.
Publishers Weekly
In an understated but gripping debut, McGinnis offers up a tale of survival in a world where a scarcity of usable water has led to a brutal conflict for what remains. Lynn and her mother eke out a hardscrabble existence, protecting their farmhouse and small pond with lethal force against wildlife and trespassers alike. When Lynn’s mother is killed, the 16-year-old is left to make her own way. To her surprise, she soon forms a surrogate family consisting of her crippled neighbor, Stebbs, and some newly arrived refugees, including teenage Eli and five-year-old Lucy. When they’re drawn into a desperate struggle against raiders who’d steal everything they possess, Lynn discovers just how hard she can fight for those she loves. McGinnis paints a stark picture of a world not far removed from our own, concentrating on Lynn’s gradual emotional growth as contrasted against the physical harshness of her existence. Character-driven but with intense moments, this story works best because of its narrow scope and focused setting, with world-building details largely left to the imagination. Ages 14–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Wolf Literary Services. (Sept.)
VOYA - Heather Christensen
For sixteen years, Lynn's hard-as-nails mother has prepared her to be completely self-reliant. As summer turns to fall, her days are spent preparing for the long, cold winter—purifying water for drinking, gathering food from the garden and woods surrounding their home, and always, always, protecting their pond from anyone—human or animal—who might attempt to steal their precious source of water. An excellent shot, she has been taught to shoot first, ask questions later. Sure to appeal to fans of dystopian stories like The Hunger Games and Divergent, McGinnis offers her own spin on this popular genre. Rather than fighting against a brutal, controlling government, Lynn's conflict is with a fanatical outcast, and—perhaps more importantly—with herself, as she questions her mother's isolated life of extreme independence. The intensity of action moves the story forward, but not at the expense of character development. The complex, authentic characters are neither fully evil nor unbelievably good. Although romance certainly plays a role, it is secondary to Lynn's personal journey from a naive girl cut off from the world around her to a strong leader who has become part of a community, confident in her own abilities and those of her companions. The honest and hopeful ending—while not "happily ever after"—will resonate with readers and leave them asking for more. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In the not-too-distant future, water has become scarce. Those who carve out their lives in the wilderness will fight to the death to protect the water on which they've staked their claim. Lynn and her mother are good shots, picking off stray travelers who are tempted by their pond. Cholera outbreaks throughout the world mean that even when water is available, it could be deadly, and the 16-year-old and her mother spend their days purifying the pond water, hunting for food, persuading meager crops to grow, and standing sentry on their roof to guard against strangers. After her mother is killed by coyotes, Lynn tries to be self-reliant, but she knows that in time the men from a nearby settlement will attempt to seize her land. When her taciturn neighbor Stebbs offers help, she slowly opens herself to his friendship, and her lifelong solitude is further fractured when she meets a family that is trying to survive on the banks of a nearby stream. Lynn grows attached to the little girl and takes her into her home when Lucy's mother, who is starving and in labor, is unable to care for her. Lynn finds herself drawn to Lucy's uncle, who is about her own age. Things come to a head when Lucy becomes deathly ill and the band of men from the nearby settlement attack Lynn's house. An overreliance on expository dialogue leads to clumsy and unnatural-sounding exchanges. The story might appeal to teens who can't get enough of dystopian survival stories, but in a crowded field, this one offers nothing new.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Kirkus Reviews
While defending her resources in a lawless world where water is a rare commodity, Lynn learns about life and humanity. Ever since Lynn was a small child, she's known the hard truths of the world--chiefly that anyone who approaches her mother's pond leaves thirsty or dies, by Lynn's gun if necessary. Besides her mother and a single neighbor, visible only at a distance, Lynn has more experience with the coyotes than with other people. Two bands of strangers appear near their land; one group, armed, encroaches on Lynn's land, so she must be ready to protect her beloved home and water source from attacks that could come at any time, providing urgency and tension. After a tragedy forces her to team up with her neighbor, Lynn learns that the other group is just a trio of refugees who have no idea how to survive in the wilderness and will surely die without help. Despite her mother's hard-nosed teachings, Lynn finds herself with growing compassion for them. The third-person, past-tense narration gives the story a gritty tone, and the only break from the realism comes in the form of characters who can successfully dowse for water. The epilogue jumps to a future that fulfills Lynn's character growth. A high-quality survivalist story for readers who enjoy internal story arcs as well as external dangers. (Speculative fiction. 13 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062198518
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/26/2014
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
162,547
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

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