Excerpt from Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Life As We Knew It

By Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2006,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: May 2008,
    360 pages.

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It would be so amazing if Brandon won a gold. I bet we’d have a parade and everything.

It’s 11 already and Mom still isn’t home. I guess she and Peter are out admiring the moon.




May 15

Spent the weekend working on my English paper.

Dad called this morning.

Matt says we can use the telescope. He’ll be home in a couple of weeks. He swears he’ll teach me how to drive.

Jonny was named middle school player of the week.




May 16

All of a sudden this moon thing is the biggest thing ever. Either that or my teachers are as bored with schoolwork as we are.

I could understand it if I were taking astronomy. But French? Madame O’Brien made us talk about “la lune” the entire class. She’s making us write a composition about it due Friday, because Wednesday night we’re all going to be outside watching the asteroid hit the moon.

Sammi says every time they make a big fuss like that, for an eclipse or a meteor shower, it rains.

It isn’t just Madame O’Brien who’s hot for this asteroid. In English today we talked about the origin of the word lunar. Eddie made a joke about mooning, and Mr. Clifford was so excited about word origins, he didn’t even get mad. He talked about slang instead and metaphors that have to do with astronomy and he gave us a new assignment, too. We can write on any topic that has to do with the moon. Due Friday, of course.

I guess Ms. Hammish thinks this moon thing is historical, because in history that’s what we talked about. How people throughout history have looked at the moon and comets and eclipses. Actually, that was kind of interesting. I never really thought about how when I look at the moon it’s the same moon Shakespeare and Marie Antoinette and George Washington and Cleopatra looked at. Not to mention all those zillions of people I’ve never heard of. All those Homo sapiens and Neanderthals looked at the very same moon as me. It waxed and waned in their sky, too.

Of course Ms. Hammish wasn’t satisfied with inspiring us like that. She gave us an assignment, too. We can write either an essay about astronomy in the past and how it affected someone in history (like if they saw a comet and it scared them or prophesized something) or an article about what’s going to happen Wednesday night.

Either way it’s due on Friday.

I don’t understand teachers. You’d think they’d talk to each other and at least one of them would realize how unfair it is to give us all assignments due on Friday. I wouldn’t mind if I could figure out how to double up on them, write my history essay and translate it into French (which I could maybe do if my French was good enough, which it isn’t). But I don’t see how to do two for the price of one, so I think I’ll have to write three separate papers (and one in French) and hand them all in on Friday.

I’ll really be sick of the moon by then.

This moon thing is supposed to happen around 9:30 Wednesday night, and Mom was interested enough that we watched the news tonight. They said asteroids hit the moon pretty often, which is how the moon gets its craters, but this one is going to be the biggest asteroid ever to hit it and on a clear night you should be able to see the impact when it happens, maybe even with the naked eye but certainly with binoculars. They made it sound pretty dramatic, but I still don’t think it’s worth three homework assignments.

Mom watched the local news, too, which she almost never does because she says it’s too depressing, and they’re predicting a really nice night. Clear skies and temperatures in the low 60s. They said in New York people are organizing parties for Central Park and on apartment rooftops. I asked Mom if we could have a party, and she said no, but people on our road will probably be out watching and it’ll be like having a block party.

Excerpted from Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Copyright © 2006 by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Excerpted by permission of Harcourt Trade Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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