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Mon, Feb 26


Idea Labs

Book Club 8th - 9th grade: Life as We Knew It

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Book Club 8th - 9th grade: Life as We Knew It
Book Club 8th - 9th grade: Life as We Knew It

Time & Location

Feb 26, 2024, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM CST

Idea Labs, 11808 Barker Cypress Rd ste c, Cypress, TX 77433, USA


About the Event

Coordinator:  Lauren Duffy

Grades: 8th - 9th grades

Book: Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

For questions and comments, please use this forum:


Book Description: When a meteor knocks the moon closer to earth, Miranda, a high school sophomore, takes shelter with her family. Told in a year’s worth of journal entries, Life as We Knew It chronicles the human struggle to hold on to the most valuable resource of all—hope—in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

As August turns dark and wintery in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water and the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Disclaimers about book’s content: 

Discussion Topics: family, resilience, sacrifice

Questions for students:

  1. Did you like the title of the book? Would you choose to rename it if you could? What could you call it?
  2. How did the diary format of the novel enhance your understanding of the story and its characters? How did it affect your emotional connection to Miranda’s experiences?
  3. The book deals with themes of family, resilience, and sacrifice. How did Miranda and her family’s relationships evolve throughout the book? How were their survival instincts tested?
  4. Did the portrayal of the disaster’s impact on the world seem realistic to you? This book was written before the pandemic. Did parts of it remind you of what happened during the pandemic? How so?
  5. Miranda faced many moral dilemmas and tough decisions in her quest for survival. In your opinion, what were some of the toughest choices she had to make and how do you feel about her decisions?
  6. What did you think about the support systems that came together in the community? Do you think that would happen in your community if this event were to happen in real life?
  7. How did the absence of modern technology and amenities change the lives of the characters and how they viewed the world? How did they adapt to their new reality? If this happened to you, what would you miss the most? How hard would it be for you to adapt?
  8. The theme of hope is central to the story. How did Miranda and her family manage to hold on to hope during their ordeal?
  9. How did the dynamic between Miranda and her mom change throughout the novel?
  10. Food scarcity becomes a pressing issue. How did the characters’ struggles to find food impact your perspective on the abundance we often take for granted today?
  11. Have you ever kept a journal? Has this book encouraged you to do so? If not, do you think you might if you ever faced a major emergency?
  12. Did reading this book make you think about your own preparedness in case of a natural disaster? How so?
  13. What would you rate this book? Would you recommend it to a friend?

Materials students need to bring:  Book and pencils.

Activity, craft, or game: Students will play a survival simulation game where they are faced with various challenges like those in the book. The students will work together to make decisions on rationing resources, finding shelter, and overcoming obstacles.


  • 8th- 9th grade




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