The Compound is a uniquely plotted book that kept me enthralled throughout. The story is narrated by Eli, whose family is rushing to an underground compound where they will be saved from a nuclear attack.
Everyone in Eli’s family doesn’t make it in time before Eli’s father locks the door. Eli’s twin brother and his grandmother are left outside. Eli’s father, one of the wealthiest men in the world, has built and equipped this facility with everything necessary for survival for the 15 years it will take to make the earth hospitable again.
So the family is lucky, right? They have all the comforts of home, and although devastated by the loss of the rest of their family, Eli, his mother and father, and his two sisters have a somewhat normal existence.... for a while. Of course, things begin to go wrong. Eli’s father, who has always had strange habits, begins to act even more peculiar. There are several problems with the food supply. Will they survive the 15 years?
Like I said, Bodeen kept me turning the pages. There’s always something happening—this is definitely a plot-driven story, but I did feel a connection to Eli. Even though he was a really strange teenager, he had been through a lot, and part of the book is about him coming to terms with his own behaviors. The other members of the family are not as relatable, but they do add to the story.
Yes, there are some unrealistic things going on. Parts of it are a bit far-fetched. But for middle school kids, I think they will eat this story up. If you read this book without too critical of an eye, it’s a fun ride, and there are some unexpected twists along the way to keep up the excitement.
I’ve posted about the Illinois’ Abraham Lincoln High School Book Award previously. This book is one of the 2012 nominated titles, and that’s why I read it. The Compound was very popular when it first came out, and I think it has the potential to get some votes.
Published by Feiwel and Friends, 2008
Copy obtained from the Library
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