These days, one word has risen above the rest in the news headlines. No, it’s not a name like Clinton, Trump, or Lochte. It’s not even iPhone 7 (I’m counting that as one word!). It’s ZIKA!!!
All this talk of Zika hitting the U.S. and with flu season just around the corner, I started thinking about all the YA books I’ve come across about pandemics. Let’s be honest here, I love a good survival story any day and what better antagonist to go up against than Mother Nature! So lock yourself away from crazy, disease-carrying mosquitoes and the germs of the world and enjoy a great pandemic story!
Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca
Lilianna’s sudden change from hard-working student to withdrawn pessimist has not gone unnoticed by those around her. Before anyone can address the matter though, a fast-acting illness has taken over the country. Doctors struggle to find a cure while the outbreak spreads to Lil’s town. Surrounded by neighbors and friends dying all around her, Lil is torn between a new love interest and an old ex, just as the reason for her sudden change shows up at her door. In this tale of survival during an outbreak, Lil must fight her own personal demons as well as a flu-like pandemic.
5th Wave by Rick Yancey
When the spaceship first appeared, the world was excited. After 4 waves of attack, the few unlucky survivors wondered when their time was up. Cassie is one of those survivors and she is looking for her little brother. She will stop at nothing to find him. In a world where you can trust no one, Cassie must decide if Evan, the boy she comes across, can be trusted to help her rescue her brother and if she has what it takes to survive. Yes, this book is really about an alien invasion. You’re probably thinking, “How did this make the list?” Well, one of the ‘waves’ of invasion is basically bird flu that wipes out a huge chunk of the population. Seriously, aliens attacking with bird flu?!? Genius! Also, this book was turned into a movie.
Black River Falls by Jeff Hirsch
A mysterious virus has swept through the small town of Black River, taking away people's memories… well, all except Cardinal Cassidy’s memories. Now, the town is in quarantine and controlled by the government. Without their memories, people are changing and not for the better. It’s up to Cardinal and the town bully, now Cardinal’s best friend, to figure out what’s really going on in Black River.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
In this dystopian series, the disease worth fighting is love. The United States has declared love a disease, and when one turns eighteen they receive the Cure. Lena is looking forward to being Cured after watching love destroy her mother. However, with only a few months to go before her procedure, she meets Alex, a mysterious boy from the Wilds who lives under the government radar and who will change her views on love.
Wither by Lauren Stefano
In an effort to create the perfect race of humans, modern science created a ticking genetics time bomb. Males live to the age of 25 while females live to the age of 20. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to fix what they destroyed while theft, crime, poverty, and the kidnapping of young girls to turn them into polygamous child brides skyrocket throughout the city. Sixteen-year-old Rhine has been kidnapped and married off to Linden who is hopelessly in love with her. As Linden attempts to show Rhine the finer things in life, Rhine begins to notice the inaccuracies of Linden’s wealth, the danger of trusting her sister wives, and the bodies piling up in her father-in-law’s basement as he searches for a cure. With the help of her servant Gabriel, can she make her escape before it’s too late?
World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
The Zombie War almost eradicated the human population. In an effort to stop the plague taking over the world, researchers searched for Patient Zero. This first-hand account of the war and the search is full of testimonies from people all over the world. Check out this harrowing tale of survival! Also, it’s a movie with Brad Pitt and the 12th Doctor who works for W.H.O. in this. (If you don’t get that joke, you are not a Doctor Who fan). Seriously, zombie-ism as a plague! I love it!!!
And don’t forget to get your flu shot! Happy Reading!