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The incredible true story of the making of the Eve of destruction
2018
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Summary
Arkansas, 1984: The town of Griffin Flat is known for almost nothing other than its nuclear missile silos. MAD--Mutually Assured Destruction--is a fear every local lives with and tries to ignore. Unfortunately that's impossible now that film moguls have picked Griffin Flat as the location for a new nuclear holocaust movie, aptly titled The Eve of Destruction .<br> <br> When sixteen-year-old Laura Ratliff wins a walk-on role (with a plus-one!) thanks to a radio call-in contest, she is more relieved than excited. Mingling with Hollywood stars on the set of a phony nuclear war is a perfect distraction from being the only child in her real nuclear family--which has also been annihilated. Her parents are divorced, and her mother has recently remarried. Her father, an officer in the Strategic Air Command, is absent . . . except when he phones at odd hours to hint at an impending catastrophe. But isn't that his job?<br> <br> Laura's only real friend is her new stepbrother, Terrence. She picks him as her plus-one for the film shoot, enraging her fair-weather friends. But their anger is nothing compared to what happens on set after the scripted nuclear explosion. Because nobody seems to know if a real nuclear bomb has detonated or not.
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  School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-It's Arkansas, 1984, and Laura Ratliff is afraid of nuclear weapons. Her father works with nuclear weapons on a nearby base. Her parents recently divorced after her white mother's affair with Dennis, one of the few black men in town, was very publicly revealed. When her mom married Dennis, Laura gained a (very nice) stepbrother, Terrence, but lost her sense of security and feels adrift. Meanwhile, the townspeople are ecstatic that a Hollywood director is coming to town to film a movie about a nuclear war titled The Eve of Destruction. Laura wins a role as an extra and brings Terrence along. Her usually even demeanor becomes tested as there are more and more nuclear drills. She's barely keeping it together with the help of Pops, Terrence's grandfather who looks out for her; Max, her friend; and her stepbrother. Then the last day of filming arrives, and it brings harrowing changes for everyone in town. Brashear has adeptly researched the time period and captures the fear of nuclear war perfectly. Footnotes, more frequent at the beginning than the end, help familiarize today's teens with popular groups, terms, and athletes of the time. Excerpts from the movie script keeps the plot moving along to its inevitable explosive conclusion. VERDICT Given that nuclear war is still a hot topic, this snarky and insightful historical novel will ring true with many young adults. A strong pick for YA shelves.-Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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