I have always found books helpful in a crisis.
I’m not saying I’d sit down in a burning house and open my ebook reader…
But in that burning house, it’s because of the books I’ve read that I’d know to recognise whether the fire is getting out of control based on the colour and movement of the smoke.
It’s because of books that I’d know to check if a handle is hot before opening the door to another room.
It’s because of books that I’ve already spent time tonight about what I’d grab if I had to run out the door – my baby, my phone, and a blanket or jumper to keep the two of us warm.
So when the Australian government announced pandemic status for coronavirus yesterday, I had already been thinking in “prepper” mode for weeks, preparing for the end of the world, buying canned food, NOT toilet paper. 🙄
And the reason I have prepped, not panicked, is all because of a few AWESOME series of YA books that got me thinking about what different survival scenarios might require of me.
How I might be challenged.
How I could rise to the occasion.
I also found myself less scared after reading books, fiction, about things that could potentially happen for real in my lifetime – things like famine, climate destruction, and war.
Clarification: I’m not saying the world is ending. But a lot of scary things are happening. My country, Australia, has had more bushfires in the past months than it’s had per year at any point in history. Coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the globe and although it’s usually not deadly, it’s (so far) also looking not very stoppable. Climate change is flooding entire states and wiping cities off the map, while other states are crying out in the worst droughts of more than a decade. My only point is that it’s worth being prepared for all the big things that are happening, and more big things that might be in our future.
So here are my favourite reads for young people at the end of the world, in no particular order. I’ve tagged them with movie style ratings (PG, M, etc.) so you can make your own decisions about whether or not you’re mature enough to read each book.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are feeling anxious or depressed about the world events happening around you, please talk to an adult you trust. This might be your parents, a trusted teacher or your school chaplain, or even a professional counsellor. They can help you talk about these big events that cause big emotions, and help you find ways to stay upbeat and cope practically and emotionally with whatever life throws your way. If you’re feeling like all hope is lost, I’d encourage you to try the Beyond Blue online chat or their phone helpline.