What would you do if your small home town was struck with tragedy? Some unimaginable disaster that arose not only once, not twice, but three times? An incident that killed and injured many, some maybe you knew, some not as well. A supposed coincidence that yet has no traced relationship no matter how long or how in depth you search for one. Would you run away, hoping to escape and leave all your troubles behind? Or would you stay close to your community and your loved ones, and push through together? These are the questions the people of Elizabeth, New Jersey had to ask themselves in the book In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume.
Miri Ammerman is a Jewish ninth grader at Hamilton Junior High, daughter of Rusty Ammerman, and single mom, and Granddaughter of Irene. With family and friends by her side, Miri learns her lessons of what doesn’t kill you make you stronger and that life goes on. These life lessons are taught in ways such as first love, heartbreak, shock, suffering and terrible tragedy. A non-Jewish boy, Mason McKittrick, is an orphan who teaches Miri the lessons of love, but also proves that he is a rebel while helping others in the community.
Although this book is about a recurring tragedy, it was very interesting to read from all the different character views and how they learned their own lessons, and essentially getting a view on all the different points in Elizabeth, New Jersey. However, at times the characters stories can be a little hard to follow with the writing style being in so many different perspectives and just short little blurbs. Words and scenes can easily be forgotten or confused if you stop at the book at the wrong time or are not totally engaged in what you are reading. Something that sparked an interest when reading this book was the fact that it is historical fiction. All the characters and their drama may not have been real, but the plane crashes were. Even more interesting, Judy Blume is an expert on the environment of this town, seeing as she grew up in Elizabeth.
If you are someone who likes to follow a character and relate your life to them while reading a book and you like the historical fiction genre, this book is perfect for you. This book allows you to not only live through the characters and their love life, but also the detail is incredible and you can feel the suffering, loss, struggle, and fear as each plane crashes. In the Unlikely Event is a touching book for all ages to enjoy.